Walking for Happiness

It probably hasn't passed you by that January 18th was 'Blue Monday' which is said to be the most depressing day of the year. In fact the whole of January can be pretty glum. Summer seems like so long away and I am sick of looking out at grey skies.

I'm determined not to let the weather get the better of me though and really want to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air. If you take the time to open your eyes there are little things on your walk that will notice that will make you smile and instantly lift your mood.

Walking for happiness - how walking can improve your mood and wellbeing

The Benefits of Regular Walking

Walking has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type II diabetes, asthma, stroke and some cancers. The NHS recommend walking 10,000 steps per day for maximum benefit which can burn between 400-600 calories per day.

Enjoying a weekend walk in the forest

Walking can help chase those January blues away and benefits your mood by:-
  • Promoting the release of endorphins (happy hormones)
  • Releases Adrenaline (which naturally lifts our mood)
  • Helping you to get a better night's sleep

How to get started

You don't need any specialist equipment to get started, however I would recommend a pedometer to help you keep on track, a small backpack (this one is only £5) packed with a bottle of water/snack and a decent pair of trainers that are supportive and don't cause blisters. 

You can walk anywhere - I enjoy a 3 mile round trip with the kids when I walk them to school in the morning and enjoy walking with the family at the weekend too.  Sometimes it's nice to take myself out for 30 minutes for a bit of me time in the middle of the day too. After just 15 minutes in the great outdoors I already start to feel more alive. 

Taking it further

If you wish to take walking further, a lovely thing to do is to join a local walking group. There are groups for all levels and the groups are a fantastic way to discover your local area and meet new people. 

Walking can be challenging too and when you complete a particular route is fantastic for your self esteem. This spring, myself and Steve are going to attempt the walk along Hadrian's Wall to Sycamore Gap. I've read that it's slightly challenging at times but I think that the amazing view will definitely be worth it and one of those moments that will stay with me forever. 

Image Credit - Michael at Vindolanda

What do you think? Next time you're feeling a little glum and look outside, pull on your trainers and take a 15-30 minute walk. Open your eyes, look around and I guarantee you will return feeling refreshed and happy :-)



  1. I definitely agree - a bit of fresh air and blue sky totally rejuvenates me. I bought myself a Fitbit at the end of last year, and that combined with moving a bit further from my daughter's preschool means it's suddenly a lot easier to fit in a walk and up my steps. The fact parking there is a bit nightmarish is an excellent incentive if I'm tempted to drive in the cold too :)

  2. Lovely post. I really love going for walks, especially with the kids, in the countryside or by the sea. I think there's nothing better than fresh air and a bit of exercise (though that makes me sound like I'm very old!)


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