Have you heard of #hotgirlwalk? It is a TikTok thing, a big TikTok thing. After less than one year online, the original #hotgirlwalk clip has over 616 million views. I don’t do TikTok, but I read about it in the online magazine Well + Good’s August 2022 article by Ashley Broadwater. This video clip suggests that you “habit stack,” which when translated to my generation’s language means to kill two birds with one stone. What Broadwater recommends stacking makes great sense. The message is to walk four miles (but it can be two or three) while listening to upbeat music and thinking about either your goals and how to accomplish them or what you are grateful for. I really love this idea, and it’s not just for girls either. People of any gender or age can do this.

Yes, walking by itself is great exercise that benefits both your brain and your body. “Walking is one of the most consistently underrated forms of exercise out there,” says Rachel Trotta, a certified personal trainer. “Contrary to popular beliefs, you don’t have to completely beat yourself up to get a good workout.” According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your balance, strengthen your immune system and much more. On the brain side, CJ Bathgate, Ph.D., licensed psychologist at National Jewish Health, explains that walking reduces symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. Better yet, walking outdoors adds additional positive impacts on sleep, memory, planning and confidence. Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS, mental health therapist, says that walking is one of the best ways to reduce stress because it releases endorphins. Endorphins stimulate relaxation and improve mood. A North Dakota State University study showed that walking doesn’t have to be at a fast pace to have stress-relieving benefits, even a stroll at a comfortable pace promotes relaxation.

Betsy Meyer is a member of the Physical Fitness Task Force of Healthy Adams County and a lover of outdoor walking and hiking.

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