Thriving Together Well-Being Weekly: Walking to Well-Being

by Whitney Hopler, Communications Director

Thriving Together Well-Being Weekly: Walking to Well-Being

“The sum of the whole is this: walk and be happy; walk and be healthy.” - Charles Dickens

Walking is a simple form of exercise that can significantly benefit your well-being. Physically, walking can strengthen your body’s fitness – from your cardiovascular and immune systems to your bones and muscles. Mentally, taking a walk can clear your mind, relieving stress while improving your mood and concentration. Research on the benefits of walking shows a diverse variety of ways that a walk can boost wellness. Learn more about how walking can strengthen your body and your mind.

You can have fun and discover inspiration on walks, as well. Stepping out on a nature hike can rejuvenate you. Hiking research shows that walking through natural settings can boost your happiness, creativity, and more. Practicing mindfulness while walking (mindful walking) can wake up your senses as you walk. Along the way, you can discover inspiring moments of awe by intentionally searching for them on a wonder walk.

Taking a walk is an easy activity to incorporate into your schedule and budget. Walking is flexible. You can walk outdoors just about anywhere – from your neighborhood to a park – for as much or as little time as you like. Walking is inexpensive, as well, since it doesn’t require any equipment other than a good pair of shoes. While any amount of walking is good for you, you can maximize walking benefits by going the farthest distance with the most intensity that you can manage.

Practice: Walk (or Run) in the Mason Nation Thriving Together Virtual 5K

Plan to walk or run in the Mason Nation Thriving Together Virtual 5K. After registering, you can participate anytime from Thursday, October 15 to Sunday, October 18 and share your experience on social media using the hashtag #MasonNation5K. Participating is free, but donations are greatly appreciated, as the 5K benefits Mason students in need by raising funds for the University Life Student Emergency Fund and the Student Food and Housing Insecurity Fund (Patriot Pantry). Feel free to choose the best route for you when planning how you’d like to walk or run the 5K distance. These route and health and safety guidelines can help.

Walking or running a distance of 5 kilometers (about 3.1 miles) is a realistic goal even for people who don’t walk or run regularly. The manageable distance and the flexibility to set your own pace allow you to participate comfortably while still achieving well-being benefits. Need some motivation? Check out these 5 reasons to participate in a 5K.

Enjoy the Journey

Every new walk you take is a fresh opportunity to strengthen your well-being. So enjoy the journey! Step into the adventure of discovery as you walk and see where your path leads.

Additional Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s walking site presents walking recommendations and resources.

The Harvard Health Publishing article “Walking: Your Steps to Health” features practical tips for starting a habit of walking.

Mason Recreation’s page on Mason Trails presents information on local trails to walk.

The article “Famous Quotes on Walking and Well-Being” presents quotes to motivate you.