Under normal circumstances, keeping fit, staying active, fighting stress, and enjoying good health might be a walk in the park. And while these are by no means normal times, a walk in the park – or by the river, in the mountains, or anywhere you are in touch with fresh air, sunshine, trees, and suburban wildlife like birds and squirrels – is as good for the psyche as it is for the body.
A 2020 study reveals that just 40 minutes of walking in nature reduces stress, lowers cortisol levels, and improves mood. And walking outdoors for 30 minutes daily yields an improved sense of well-being and happiness.
In fact, the combination of walking in a natural setting has been found to lower blood pressure, improve brain function including memory and learning, increase concentration, and minimize depression.
If you decide to take up walking as a daily practice, you’re in good company. Throughout history, artists, writers, and creative thinkers have touted the benefits of walking. Bill Bryson wrote a book about his insights and experiences after walking the Appalachian Trail (part of it, at least). Henry David Thoreau was inspired to write Walden, about the simple life in nature. And Friedric Nietzsche wrote, “All truly great things are conceived by walking.”
Walking and hiking are popular features in community parks, where planners utilize the natural features for walking and reconnecting with nature. Local parks featuring walking and hiking trails include:
And if you can’t make it to a park, each Windsong community encourages walking, soaking in sunshine, and connecting with nature, along wide sidewalks, community green spaces, and walking trails (per community).
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!