7 surprising benefits of walking regularly

We’re working to ensure everyone can relish in the joys of walking in nature

Step towards happiness 

With Britain’s gorgeous landscapes right on your doorstep, there are endless opportunities for you to get outdoors, whether you want to experience the peaceful hills of the Lake District or explore Devon’s quaint country paths and trails. 

And, if you keep reading, you may just find the motivation you need to put on your walking shoes right now… 

1.  Walking can help to keep you physically healthy 

Did you know that the World Health Organisation recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical exercise a week? You could look at that as just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It’s thought to be enough to help lessen your risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. 

2.  Walking can boost your mental health 

Research has shown that physically active people could have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed. Staying active can also help those who suffer with depression to recover. In older people, staying active may improve cognitive function, memory, attention and processing speed, as well as reduce the risk of dementia. 

3.  Walking helps to relieve stress and improve sleep quality 

Exercise prompts your brain to produce more endorphins, a chemical that’s known to boost your mood. It can also provide stress relief for your body, as physical movement helps you to shed any tension you may be carrying and distract your mind from nagging worries. As a result, walking can also improve your sleep quality, which is often disrupted by stress. 

4.  Walking can boost your creativity 

There’s nothing like spending time in nature’s playground to spark your imagination. From beautiful backdrops to incredible wildlife, your daily walk is likely to be bursting with creative inspiration. And there’s science to back this claim too, with various journals, including a research paper from Stanford University, making the link between walking and creativity. 

5.  Walking gives your day a structure 

Whether it’s a lunch hour power walk or an evening stroll, incorporating walking into your everyday routine can provide you with a structure to your day. This may help you to accomplish more of your daily tasks, and as walking is an activity that you can depend on, it serves as a part of your day you can always look forward to. 

6.  Walking can be a form of socialising 

Walking can be a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones, because you’re less likely to be interrupted or distracted by others, or by messages on your phone. It can also be an opportunity to meet new people, especially if you take part in an organised walk, which encourages people in a local community to get together regularly. 

7.  Walking is a way to spend time with yourself 

Walking with friends and family can be fun, but taking yourself out for a wander also has its benefits. Whether you need some alone time alone or you’re looking for a chance to get to know yourself better, there’s something empowering about making the time to do something you enjoy. 

And the Ramblers can help with that, too 

A public footpath sign

That’s why the Ramblers helps open the way for walkers across the country, by working to preserve Britain’s world-class walking network. And, as well as group walks, the Ramblers offers fully tried and tested routes across England, Scotland and Wales. Thanks to the Ramblers members’ app, it’s never been easier to find a group walk or route even when you are on the go. 

There’s so much about walking that can make life that little bit better, and the Ramblers is committed to helping as many people as possible discover just that! 

Explore more 

We’ve got ideas for hundreds of wonderful walking routes across England, Scotland and Wales, long and short, easy and challenging. Search for routes on our website.  Or join a guided walk with a local Ramblers group. Find your nearest Ramblers group and choose a walk that suits your pace, fitness and interests.   

A group of six walkers, one carrying a baby in a papoose, walk across a grassy field

Ramblers walking groups near me

With over 500 Ramblers groups right across Britain there’s probably one (or more) near you. Here’s how and why you should join one for a sociable stroll.

Members of the public walk amongst a carpet of snowdrops in the grounds of Burton Agnes Hall, near Bridlington, northern England

How can walking improve my mental health?

Taking a regular stroll can make you feel happier, calmer, less stressed and more energetic. It’s even better enjoyed with a group of like-minded walkers.

A group of walkers follow a stony, waymarked path, surrounded by long grass, on a summer's day

How walking can boost your health

Discover how walking can reward you with huge health benefits including a boost in mood. And it’s fun!

Campaign with us

We campaign to remove barriers to walking and we step up to protect the places we love to wander.

See our campaigns