Why Walking is so Good for You!

YPRL Staff

8 February, 2024

Benefits of Walking

Now that we are enjoying some warmer weather it is a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Walking is a good form of low-impact exercise that can improve cardiovascular and bone health.  As well as physical benefits, walking also has a positive impact on mental well-being.

VicHealth reports that walking “has been linked to improvements in happiness, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality”. Read more about the benefits of walking here.

Did you know YPRL has developed some self-guided local history walking maps for Whittlesea and Eltham.

We have found more local walks you might like to explore! See here.  

In the book 52 Ways to Walk: the surprising science of walking for wellness and joy, one week at a time, Annabel Streets writes that even a short walk or walking at a slow pace can be beneficial for your health, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down throughout the day. (Also available as an eBook).

Have you tried combining walking with mindfulness? Why not set yourself a challenge this month to leave the headphones at home and head outside without any distraction.  

  • What sounds do you hear?
  • What can you smell?
  • Notice your breathing and the sensation of your feet connecting with the ground.
  • If you often take the same route, try a change of scenery by walking down a different street or visiting a new park.

Mindful walking is great for kids too!


Let's go for a Walk by Ranger Hamza is a book designed to be taken along with you on a walk. It features prompts to help kids get involved in noticing colours, sounds and nature along the way.   

Explore these other resources available in our collection:

The art of mindful walking: meditations on the path by Adam Ford

Exploring the idea of the walk as both medium and metaphor and considering ideas of pilgrimage alongside the notion of the walk in literature, he draws on his personal experience of both spirituality and walking. Most of us have enjoyed moments of magic on a walk, from a simple feeling of wellbeing to a sense of awe at a special view. This book celebrates and enhances those moments: both for the hardened hiker and those who like to contemplate past walks from the comfort of their armchair.

Beyond the footpath: mindful adventures for modern pilgrims by Clare Gogerty

In these frantic and unsettling times, more people are seeking meaning, stillness and a greater connection with the natural world. Modern pilgrimages satisfy this need. Walking mindfully to a special place goes beyond rambling to something deeper. By leaving behind our noisy lives, setting off quietly and with purpose, then simply putting one foot in front of the other, we discover more about ourselves and the land we inhabit.

Walking with Glenn Berkenkamp: 35 wellness walks to expand awareness, increase vitality, and reduce stress by Glenn Berkenkamp

Discover the joys of mindful walking to find balance, build awareness, and engage body and mind Glenn Berkenkamp invites us to discover how we sense, move, think, and feel in our bodies. By reframing the joys and opportunities presented to us by the act of walking, he shows us how to become reflective and inwardly directed, even as we take in the world around us. With 35 different walks and the help of a Which Walks to Do When user guide, Glenn gives us options for every occasion and emotion. Feeling off-center? Try a centering walk. Feeling down? Lift your spirit with a gratitude walk or a prayer walk. 

Way makers : an anthology of women's writing about walking

Walking is, for the women included in this anthology, a source of creativity and comfort; it is a means of expressing grief, longing, and desire. It is also a complicated activity: it represents freedom but is also sometimes tinged with danger and fear. What cannot be denied any longer is that walking was, and continues to be, an activity full of physical and emotional significance for women: this anthology is a testament to the rich literary heritage created by generations of women walker-writers over the centuries.

101 things to do on a walk by Kait Eaton 

101 Things to do on a Walk is a fun, practical, creative book filled with activities to do while on trips out in nature - both locally, and not so locally. Take this book with you on a walk with the family to provide inspiration for nature-themed crafts and activities - from bird-spotting, bark rubbing and macro insect photography to playing Pooh sticks, identifying wildlife and building a den.

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