Reference Number: 655
Leisure walking provides an escape from routines and daily lives, and offers positive experiences, such as fascination with nature, reflection, and mental relaxation. The processes of exploring and observing nature while walking build bonds between people and spaces. In walking, people explore personal capabilities and overcome challenges associated with demanding landscapes, which enhances feelings of satisfaction and achievement. Furthermore, sharing spaces and similar positive experiences with others while walking promote social interactions and a sense of belonging that combats feelings of loneliness and benefits well-being. Ample research on physical activity, including walking, has explored the role of psychological, social, and environmental factors in the activity participation, and recognised its benefits for mental health and well-being. This paper reviews literature in the field of leisure and environmental psychology to present the evidence of the positive relationships between leisure walking in the natural environment and its psychological and social benefits for well-being.
The popularity of leisure walking provides an opportunity to promote walking as a therapeutic recreation that benefits psycho-social aspects of well-being through meaningful and pleasurable experiences of bonding people with places. The relationships between leisure walking and social and mental well-being can be found in the opportunities to escape everyday life problems and negative emotions by finding seclusion and peacefulness in nature. In particular, the aesthetic beauty of places, the lack of built environment, and the abundance of natural diversity tend to be perceived as sources of fascination, appreciation, and mental relaxation.
Significance of this study to the baker
There is ample evidence to suggest that walking in natural environments benefits psychological wellbeing. Therapeutic effects of walking for leisure are expressed in the concepts of ‘walking – cure,’ or ‘psychotherapeutic walking,’ which suggest that all individuals can walk their way into physical health and mental well-being.
So part of the approach to Baking as Lifestyle Medicine is incorporating exercise into the rhythm of your baking routine.