IMG_7862

Walking May Help With Mental Health Issues

Walking can help mild to moderate Mental Health Issues as a supplement to your medication or alternative in some cases, it is not only good for the mind but also has a positive effect on your physique and overall fitness levels which will in turn make you feel better about yourself and free your mind when you are out and about.

There are many benefits of physical exercise when it comes to mental health, you don’t need to go too extreme in your fitness regime as this can lead to self harm through fitness, this is well documented but a 30 minute brisk walk a few days a week can make a big difference

Here are some of the benefits you may get from regular exercise :

  • Physical Health

    Any form of exercise is good for your physical health

  • Boosts Self Confidence

    It will boost your confidence and self esteem and get you back on the social ladder

  • Relieve Stress

    Who needs stress? getting out can take your mind off things and give you a welcome break

  • Boost Your Happy Chemicals

    Exercise can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain

  • It May Prevent Cognitive Decay

    As you get older you are more prone to illnesses such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons Disease, being active may combat the onset

  • Give You The Feel Good Factor

    There is nothing like getting fresh air in your lungs and seeing parts of the countryside you never knew existed

  • Relieve Anxiety

    Leave your anxious thoughts go and lose yourself in the moment

  • Boost Memory

    Soak up the sights and new feelings, it will boost your memory and free up space for new experiences

  • Help You Relax

    Exercise will help you relax after a good session and will recharge your batteries for the day / week ahead

  • Motivate Others

    As 1 in 4 is the statistic by talking to others about how exercise has helped you it may inspire them to join you or do it to help themselves

Below is the map of the walk done today, it was only 2.3 miles long but was over the cliffs and on the coastal path, additionally we have prepared some general information on walking to help you on your way, please read it as it has some great guidelines incase you get into any difficulties.

There are also some nice images I took along the walk that can be seen in the gallery below.

Download

GENERAL INFORMATION ON WALKING

Equipment, Preparation, The Elements & Etiquette

General Information

When you go walking common sense plays a part and a general knowledge of your current surroundings. It is essential that you have knowledge of the highway code or the basics of which side of the road to walk on where there are no paths available.

IMG_7944

Walking is not exclusively for experienced hikers as it is a function we all do on a daily basis so it is not only enjoyable but is good for your health and also releases endorphins to make you feel better.

If you are young or old there is a walk for you in this area and also wherever you live, there are clubs you can join or if you would like to be alone or with your family it is entirely up to you.

When you do go walking there is some things you should take care of prior to starting your walk and we will cover this in the preparation section as it is very important to be prepared and be as safe as possible on your excursion.

If you take a dog on your walks it is a good idea to find out what livestock is on the route if it includes crossing fields.

Equipment

Walking is a great pastime but there are certain equipment you should have when going for a walk, you do not need the best of everything and it all depends on the condition of the route you are taking and the weather conditions where can be seen below.

Essential equipment would include :-

  • Sturdy shoes or walking boots
  • Warm clothing (waterproof if the weather suggests rain is possible)
  • A rucksack to carry essential (we will discuss the contents in the preparation section)
  • Water or a drink of your choice (Alcohol is not advisable)
  • Mobile phone incase of an emergency

226599_7337

If you have such a thing as a sat nav or one on your phone then this is a great addition as the walks on this site include a GPX download which can be imported into many walking applications on most smartphone applications such as WalkMeter on Apple iOS.

Preparation

Being prepared for a walk is essential, you never know what you will come across or how the weather conditions will change whilst you are out on your walk.

Firstly we will go through the contents of your rucksack :-

  • Fluids (plenty incase of emergency) if you have a quality rucksack you can carry a water bag with a builtin dispenser.
  • Warm clothes and a waterproof jacket and leggings if you have some.
  • A torch or headlamp.
  • Medications if you are on any such as Asthma Pumps, EpiPens, Insulin Pen or any other prescriptions you are on incase you get lost along your way.
  • Food, either a packed lunch if you are on a long walk, some energy bars and some fruit, fruit will not only fill you up but will also give you essential vitamins.
  • If you are taking a dog then take a water bowl, dog poo bags and maybe some food depending on the length of your walk.

Always let someone know that you are going out walking and tell them the area or location you are going to be walking in, additionally tell them your departure time and the approximate time you expect to return as this could prove vital if something goes wrong or you become ill along the way.

It is always a good idea to use the toilet before setting off as nobody likes being caught short on a walk.

Take a mobile phone with you incase of an emergency, the phone is for your convenience and if you do not want to take calls then either ignore or take the call to let them know you are on a walk and you are ok, alway make sure your phone is charged also.

Not all phones work in all areas so if you become ill or hurt you can call the emergency number 112 or 999 as it will pick up a signal from other networks and put you in touch with emergency services.

If you are taking a dog with you then always keep it on a lead as if the dog runs off or becomes scared and bolts it can take you off your route and render you lost or on unsteady terrain.

When entering a field with livestock in it always pays to be weary as some animals may attack, if this happens then be prepared and plan an exit route before entering the field.

The last bit of advice is to use your common sense, do not go to close to edges of steep decline and think before you take actions.

On your return always let the person you told you were going for a walk you are back safe, if not the emergency services may be called in error.

Etiquette

When walking it is good to have etiquette in mind, it costs nothing to be polite and courteous towards others and if you go missing or become ill they may know where you was last seen and what condition you were in.

Some people you meet along the way may have local knowledge and if they are coming from the opposite direction they may be able to tell you of any challenges lay ahead and prior warning will prepare you for any situation ahead.

Littering is a big problem in the countryside so please take yours home with you, it is a good idea to take a plastic bag with you to store any of your litter in your rucksack.

743175_83352135

If you are taking a dog along with you then please take a dog poo bag with you as nobody wants to step in dog mess along any walk.


Give Us Feedback & Share

If you have enjoyed this post then please share it with others and let us know in the comments section below.

 

Tenby South Beach

Exercise & Depression

It is a well known fact that slight to moderate exercise can help alleviate some of the effects that depression has on a sufferer, maybe not in all cases but it certainly helped me.

I have suffered with depression for many years now and know all to well what an incapacitating illness it can be, I have had bouts where I have locked the door, closed the curtains and shut myself away from the outside world sometimes for days at a time.

Recently I have taken up walking and it has done wonders for my depression, ok It hasn’t disappeared completely but it is certainly milder and more manageable at the moment and I know exactly what to do when I feel a bout coming on. I find that when I am walking my thoughts are freed up and release me from being a captive of my own mind, it allows me to ponder over things that depress me and put them into context.

Apart from the walking being great exercise it also gives you a big wallop of Vitamin D that in turn gives you the feel good factor.

It doesn’t matter how old or fit you are as a short walk can be as good for you as a long walk, it is getting out of the surroundings you are used to and having a break and some fresh air which will in turn take your mind off things and make you feel more refreshed.

Whilst walking I have seen many beautiful sights and have started to capture them on my camera, if I am feeling down I just go and have a look at some of the images I have taken and this also makes me feel better as it brings the good memories back to me.

If you would like to see my pictures then please feel free to visit my Flickr profile – https://www.flickr.com/photos/31694279@N02/sets/