The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Athlete Students

The benefits of walking: body and soul
Photo by Marisa Valdez

Like a lot of things in life, routine physical activity is something that calls for motivation and discipline. 

So, in light of pursuing adequate motivation, I have found the blue skies of October to serve as just the right thing. 

Although some hate to admit it, the weather often plays a large role in our level of productivity, regardless of what it may be. Especially when it comes to working out, something that for countless individuals is less than appealing.

Gray skies and their slight overcast are often the origin of excuses when it comes to outdoor workouts, myself included. And yet, in my opinion, so far this month, the picturesque fall scenery has counteracted any unnecessary laziness. 

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There really is nothing quite like a brisk walk during fall. Here on campus with the numerous walking paths, it is hard not to let the sunshine and abundance of colors draw you in.

If it’s not the bright blushes of color in the trees that beckon outdoor activity, the cool, crisp air is sure to be enough. 

Lately, I have been a big fan of such walks. Walks that not only are beautiful but are actually great sources of both physical benefits as well as little boosts for our mental health too.

Intrigued by the idea that something as simple as walking is capable of this, I decided to take a deeper look as to what this means.

What I found confirmed the common knowledge that walking has positive impacts on our health. 

For instance, the Arthritis Foundation said taking brisk daily walks allows your body to naturally release pain-killing endorphins. Also, as we walk and our breathing rate increases, oxygen travels faster through our bloodstream and helps get rid of waste products. 

Most intriguing though, is how walking can be an asset in enhancing mental health. According to the Mental Health Foundation, routine swift walks are excellent sources to relieve stress, improve moods, and even have positive impacts on anxiety and depression. 

Wondering what specifically has been proven to help? Their research concluded that it was low-intensity aerobic exercises such as walking or yoga for 30-minute increments a few days a week. 

Incorporating the beautiful October weather is also a great idea. This foundation also relayed the information that nature is a wonderful thing to incorporate into your day. They even went as far to say that a critical factor in supporting mental health is in fact nature.  

Their report boiled down some recommendations to incorporate into your life. These included designating time to be outdoors at least once a day. As college students, our commute usually requires a daily walk, so we are already ahead of the game. 

Natural light and taking advantage of the many available paths on campus are great starting points to getting a hold on the stresses we carry.

This fall season may just be the perfect opportunity to start being intentional about our walking habits. 


Weiss can be reached at [email protected].

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