Have you ever found yourself on vacation and walking to explore the destination and loving it?
There’s no denying that walking is arguably the best way to explore a new destination and there are many health benefits of walking while traveling making a vacation a health and wellness fiesta!
Traveling on foot allows you to savor a place, discover backstreets, and meet new people.
The Benefits of Walking While Traveling Extend Beyond Health
Walking around a city, sometimes with no specific agenda, opens up unique perspectives that the usual travel handbooks cannot encapsulate.
Therefore, it can be confidently stated that walking enables a traveler to enrich their journey by enjoying the physical benefits of traveling and mental benefits of traveling.
- ✈️ The rise of pedestrian-friendly travel destinations signals an encouragement to travel on foot.
- ✈️ Paris made the lower quays that run along the Seine River permanently car-free in 2018
- ✈️ Bogotá banned cars from certain routes on Sundays and public holidays in an attempt to attract pedestrians and joggers.
- ✈️ Residents of San Francisco pushed to lower speed limits on four famous streets–Gate Avenue, Lake Street, Sanchez Street, and Shotwell Street–to share the roads with pedestrians and make them safer for families.
Therefore, walking on a vacation (getaway) costs nothing yet provides us with a plethora of benefits.
Still not convinced? Let’s dig a little deeper and discuss some of the mental and physical benefits of walking while traveling!
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of exploring your travel destination on foot, so you can reap the health benefits!
The Mental Benefits of Walking
Walking provides the confidence to try new activities, even those outside your comfort zone!
Walking While Traveling Can Improve Your Mood
- 🚶🏽 Walking encourages our bodies to release endorphins, hormones that help us cope with pain or stress and improve our mood.
- 🚶🏻♀️ Leisurely walks around new cities or rural areas allow our minds time to relax—a beneficial attribute to any trip.
- 🚶🏿 Each additional step on your pedometer has a natural psychological effect shaped by your hormone levels.
- 🚶🏾♀️ Walking increases your energy and strengthens your stamina to help you see more of your destination and improve your mood in the process.
- 🚶🏻♂️ Ramping up your physical activity through walking increases your self-esteem and motivation
Walking Reduces Stress and Anxiety
A recent study found that an hour-long walk in nature lowers stress by decreasing brain activity involved in stress processing.
Whether you decide to explore a garden or hike in a national park, walking can ease your anxiety and relieve your stress while you take in new sights, smells, and sounds.
Walking can even be a great form of meditation as you detach yourself from work and daily routines back at home and focus on the scenery your travel destination offers.
And because traveling can bring about stresses such as language barriers or culture shock, a stroll around town can help reduce their adverse effects by pumping up your endorphins and allowing you to calm your fears by seeing that there is nothing around you to be stressed about!
Walking While Traveling Can Promote A Restful Sleep
Walking helps you sleep longer and deeper at night, boosting your daytime energy and alertness as you comb through your itinerary.
Quite simply, after a long day of walking around the cobblestone streets of Rome, Madrid, or Mexico, you can have a restful slumber in your hotel room to energize you for another travel day because you will be tired from walking and traveling.
Walking even reduces sleep onset or the time it takes to fall asleep, to help you maximize your rest and possibly eliminate the need for medication or sleeping aids.
However, some people may find that vigorous physical activity right before bedtime makes it difficult to fall asleep at night.
Instead, taking a short stroll after dinner may be the best way to relax your body and prepare you for a good night’s rest.
The Physical Benefits of Walking
Apart from improving moods and reducing stress, walking nurtures the physical brain itself.
Did You Know Walking Helps With Brain Function
- 🚶🏻♂️ Aerobic activities such as walking help regulate emotion and memory by stimulating cell growth in the hippocampus, or the part of the brain that processes memories and learning.
- 🦶🏽 In older travelers, brisk walking can help decelerate cognitive decline and make them cherish their travel memories for longer.
- 🦶🏽 Walking can improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of neurological conditions by increasing oxygen and blood flow to the brain.
So, a person who travels on foot on vacation is helping their brain function and blood flow, that is something you can’t pack in your luggage but you can definitely pack into your health benefits derived from vacation!
Walking While Traveling Can Encourage Weight Loss
Traveling is an easy way to gain pounds as it disrupts regular eating habits and exposes you to new and exciting cuisines.
Food carts are ubiquitous in places like Thailand, Mexico, Italy, and Vietnam, and interesting street food can be bought from every corner.
Luckily, walking 10,000 steps a day or even more helps you burn vacation calories.
As you cover a longer distance, you expend calories which helps with weight control.
Walking makes your body use the food you intake as energy for your body instead of storing it as fat in your muscle or liver, which can ultimately harm your health, so travel on foot!
Did You Know That Walking Protects The Heart
Our list of summer travel destinations involves places and activities that are perfect for a walking holiday.
A trip to Disney, for instance, is a sure way to accumulate thousands of steps in just one afternoon and is perfect to achieve the benefits of walking while traveling.
This is a perfect aerobic activity for the young and old alike, as walking has been proven to increase vascular function and cut the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and hypertension.
Walking also positively impacts cholesterol levels and blood pressure and decreases mortality and disease risk.
Another fabulous trip to consider that will provide a lot of walking while traveling is a trip to El Nido which will have you walking beaches, and all around the municipalities to uncover and discover their culture with endless adventure options!
Items You’ll Need For Walking While Traveling
This is a short list to help you pack up what you’ll need when you choose a fabulous walking vacation to tour and explore!
- 🗺️ A waist pack bag will help to keep your money and phone secure while you travel on foot
- 🗺️ An anti-theft backpack with charger to keep your phones charged and other items secured for walking about
- 🗺️ Tile tracker for your wallet or backpack device
- 🗺️ A pee cloth for women (in case you are hiking which is walking in a different way while traveling)
- 🗺️ A quality pair of walking shoes for women
- 🗺️ A quality pair of walking shoes for men
Walking While Traveling Offers Physical and Mental Health Benefits
Clearly, travel can benefit your life!
Walking is the simplest yet most endearing way to explore the world.
Besides enriching your life and helping you gain invaluable experiences, traveling on foot improves your mental and physical health and shapes you holistically into a healthier person.
Next time you take a vacation, make sure to seek out as many places as you can travel on foot as possible to enjoy the benefits of walking while traveling and discovering so much! Some call it a walking holiday! I’m in, are you? ~ Dana XO
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