Hot Girl Walking has both physical and mental benefits

i amIf you’re into the fitness side of TikTok, you may have heard of creator Mia Lind’s “Hot Girl Walks,” which she regularly posts. She recommends walking four miles while listening to pump-up music (the less the better!) and thinking about your goals, accomplishments, and/or what you’re grateful for. The trend has become so popular that the hashtag #hotgirlwalk currently has over 340 million views.

It’s fun to think about the idea of ​​having a “hot girl summer” with a “hot girl walking”, it’s more beneficial than you might realize. It is not only for girls but for people of any gender. Yes, walking is a great exercise even if it’s not very intense, and many experts are huge fans of it.

“Walking is one of the most consistently underrated forms of exercise,” says certified personal trainer Rachel Trotta. “Contrary to popular understanding, you don’t have to absolutely beat yourself up to get a good workout.”

4 Reasons Experts Love Hot Girl Walks

1. It benefits your brain and your body

Walking can improve both your mental and physical health in many ways. “It improves everything from insulin sensitivity to mental health to exercise recovery,” says Trotta. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your balance, strengthen your immune system, and more.

As far as mental health goes, it’s best to get outside for your walk if possible. “Beyond the obvious mental health benefits that exercise can provide, such as reducing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, being outdoors can have positive effects on sleep, memory, planning, and confidence,” says CJ Bathgate, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist at National Jewish Health. .

He explains that sunlight regulates our circadian rhythm, or internal “body clock,” which makes us feel sleepy and awake. This tells our body to reduce production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy, so walking in the morning can help you wake up.

Walking at other times of the day is also helpful. “A walk early in the day can be an energy boost, an afternoon walk can be a great ‘reset’ for what happened earlier or the day breaks, and an evening walk can help slow things down, especially when listening to music or a podcast,” says Dr. Bathgate. . And adding goal-setting/gratitude/achievement-intelligence can help you plan and achieve your goals, she adds. It’s meditative.

Scientifically speaking, walking makes your brain feel good. “Walking is one of the best ways to reduce stress because it releases endorphins,” says Lori Groh, MS, LPC, SAS, mental health therapist and co-owner of Shoreside Therapy. “It’s a natural pain reliever.”

2. It is more accessible than other forms of exercise

If you’re an on-again, off-again exerciser like me who sometimes struggles with motivation (especially in this terrible heat), you know the struggle. It’s not just the thought of driving to the gym and exercising in front of other people or exhausting yourself trying to run and lift weights.

But the idea of ​​just walking outside, listening to good music? That’s a little easier to get on board with—and Trotta agrees. “TikTok’s current hot girl walk trend is giving people the right encouragement to move without setting unrealistically high standards for what constitutes a workout,” she says.

Walking can be a simple form of exercise for those with chronic pain or chronic illness (if they choose). In a 2017 study Musculoskeletal Science and Practice That said, walking may also be recommended for some people to reduce back pain. Walking can also help people living with IBS.

3. It’s a generally healthy way to practice self-care

Although we need coping skills more than anyone only Exercising, and exercise may not be the right choice for someone who has dealt with exercise addiction, for example, is usually a positive self-care tool.

“Getting some break from work and doing something fun is a great way to engage in self-care and even ‘a-ha!’ moments, where solutions to otherwise complex situations naturally pop up as we move ourselves out of the crisis and into a more relaxed state without judgment,” explains Dr. Bathgate.

4. It contains several good habits that you can do consistently

Trotta also likes how the Hot Girl Walk combines multiple healthy habits. “I think the genius of the hot girl walk trend is that it gives exercisers something to focus on, like upbeat music and positive thoughts about your goals,” she says. “Using the technique of ‘habit pairing’ or even ‘habit stacking’ – rather than seeing exercise as something that is done out of context, the Hot Girl Walk concept integrates exercise into an accessible activity and a pleasant headspace.” This, he explains, tends to promote consistency.

How to make hot girls walk on your own

If the idea of ​​four miles (that’s about an hour or so) of exercise sounds like too much to you – and hey, we definitely got it – that’s okay too! Short walks still serve you well.

“I recommend that my own clients try to walk 30 minutes a day,” says Trotta. Depending on your schedule, physical ability, etc., you may be able to do it more consistently (and enjoy it), which is ultimately what matters most. (Side note: These stretches can help if you’re experiencing body aches from overexercise.)

You are also free to do or think whatever you want during that period. Trotta mentioned a few ideas, such as listening to a podcast or audiobook, calling a friend, and watching Netflix or YouTube if you’re on the treadmill. “The key is that you find it enjoyable and it makes you want to walk more often!” she says.

Groh also believes in walking daily, if possible, to help build the habit and reap the benefits. But remember, there’s nothing wrong with taking baby steps to get there. “You can start with a goal of just walking for a few minutes, or if you’re struggling with that, your goal can be to put on your shoes,” she says.

She has seen improvements in her own life since walking Hot Girl. “I walk and listen to a book every day, and I’ve noticed a huge difference in the last two years, especially with the pandemic [closing] Between us,” she shares. “I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk.”

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