One of the big themes that we identified as a key driver to watch this year is wellness and wellbeing and the emerging global desire to improve it and find solutions to our over stress, anxiety-filled lifestyles.

If covid-19 has offered us any benefit, it's the stark realisation that our physical and mental health is something we should all value and cherish daily and ensure that we take its maintenance and continued existence seriously.

And there is actually one under-ratted exercise that preserves and restores both at the same time and costs you absolutely nothing to do right now; walking.

'According to Dr. Jo Barton, Senior Lecturer of the School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences at the University of Essex, you can improve your self-esteem and your mood with just five minutes of exposure to nature while walking. Why does it work so quickly? As Barton shares, exposure to nature helps us switch from voluntary attention, which draws on our reserves of focus and energy, to involuntary attention, which requires less focus and energy. This allows us to recover from mental fatigue.'

Walking in nature not only benefits your mental state and tones the body, but can also make you more creative (a study at Stanford University says up to a 60% improvement), helps clear your head of noise and clutter and gives you what you need to have better ideas.

'Researchers speculate that complex human cognition, including our remarkable capacity for innovation, developed right along with the ability to walk. In other words, the complex brain structures needed to accommodate walking automatically allowed the potential to develop increasingly sophisticated modes of thinking. Granted, when we go for a walk, the very brain structures that allow us to walk also allow us to access our most sophisticated cognitive abilities.'

What strikes us is that walking is one of those forms of exercise that is particularly underserved by brands and wellness experts, but the health benefits of the activity are undeniable.

Perhaps this trend is changing as a result of our acute focus on wellbeing thanks to covid-19. Save money on a gym membership, cancel that expensive Vitality subscription, just take yourself for a walk.

More:

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Walk
Breaking up your day by going outside can boost your mood, brainpower, and creativity.
Why Walking Helps Us Think
Since at least the time of Greek philosophers, many writers have discovered a deep, intuitive connection between walking, thinking, and writing.
Forget the Gym: Here’s Why Walking Is the Only Form of Exercise You’ll Ever Need
For true physical and existential salvation, nothing beats a good walk, argues author Will Self
Stepping Up Your Creativity: Walking, Meditation, and the Creative Brain » Brain World
A Stanford University study found walking improves “divergent thinking”: your ability to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.