How to Take an Awe Walk and Why You Should Try It

Cora Gold

Spending more time in nature does more than change your daily routine. It can also improve your comprehensive well-being. Taking an awe walk every now and then could be exactly what you need to start enjoying those benefits. Check out everything you should know about this inspirational gentle exercise routine to determine how to add it to your schedule.

What Is an Awe Walk?

An awe walk is any easy-pace walk in an inspiring environment. The movement began in 2020 when a study found that walking while admiring what’s around you — also known as feeling a sense of awe at the world — enhances positive emotions that prolong your lifespan. Your mental health improves while your body benefits from the extra exercise.

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Benefits of Outdoor Walking for Exercise 

People sometimes think walking isn’t as helpful for your body as more intense workout routines. If you take an awe walk at least a few times each week, you’ll enjoy these benefits:

If you think you would benefit from these positive effects of walking in an inspirational outdoor setting, it’s time to get moving. Anyone can walk more during the week by choosing their preferred locations and shifting their schedule around.

How to Do an Awe Walk

a person standing on a sidewalk with their shadow on the ground.

Awe walks prioritize getting active in a beautiful location. These are some of the best ways to add this type of exercise to your weekly schedule.

1. Save Time in Your Day

Consider when you have free time during your day. When would a quick 30-minute walk fit most naturally into your schedule? You can also pick a time based on when you have the most energy. If you work alongside your body’s circadian rhythm, you’ll feel more excited to maintain your new routine.

2. Pick a Location You Love

Destinations are the foundations of awe walks. You won’t enjoy your time as much if you’re walking through an area full of trash, foul odors or overcrowded walkways.

If you live near a park, visit its trails for a quick getaway. Anyone who lives close to a beach could enjoy an awe walk on the sand while the sun decreases your depression with its extra vitamin D. Reflect on where you feel the most relaxed to create a list of potential places for easygoing strolls.

3. Start With Mindfulness

When you finally arrive at your favorite outdoor location, stand still for a moment. Notice what’s happening around you. If you’re at the beach, you might take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the sand. Notice how the tiny granules feel against your skin compared to the salty touch of the wind on your face.

What do you hear? Are there birds calling across your path or people chatting nearby? Maybe you can hear leaves rustling and water lapping against a lakeshore. Allow yourself to take these sounds in for a few minutes to feel more present for your walk.

4. Minimize Distractions

Distractions happen even in the most serene environments. Your thoughts might start focusing on what you need to do when you get back home or whatever’s happening at work. If pinpointing the sounds, smells and textures around you doesn’t help, wear headphones.

You could try listening to white noise during your walk. Research shows that it improves a person’s attention skills by changing their brain’s level of arousal. An app or website that plays white noise during your stroll could block distractions so you can focus on your awe walk.

If you need help guiding your thoughts, try meditating for the duration of your walk. All you have to do is repeat a meaningful phrase or time your slow breaths. As long as your mind focuses on that singular task, distractions will be less of a challenge.

5. Regulate Your Breathing

Deep breathing is more powerful than you might think. When researchers studied people taking slow, deep breaths in stressful situations, they found that it reduced stress and blood pressure.

Guide your breathing by counting to four with each inhale. Hold for another four seconds and release for four seconds. You can also adjust the time with how much oxygen you need based on your walking pace.

You may also enjoy following a meditative breathing podcast or listening to a guided video during your stroll. Once you get the hang of the routine that works best for you, you can do it yourself anywhere you want to relax.

6. Journal About Your Experience

You might have an incredible awe walk one day and return to your responsibilities with less anxiety. However, it’s easy to forget the lessons or epiphanies you had after you get back to your busy schedule. Journaling is a great way to remember your walking experiences.

Use your phone to quickly note whatever you experienced on your most recent walk before going home. If you want to expand on your thoughts later, you can always open that note to resume your journaling. Your logs could help you watch your self-growth over time or even note if certain locations felt more relaxing than others.

Potential Places to Walk

Remember, there are so many great places to enjoy an awe walk. Reflect on where you live and what’s around you. Do you have a car to drive to new spots, want to carpool with a friend or need walking destinations close to public transportation?

Check out these potential walking destinations as you figure out where you best connect with nature:

  • Your neighborhood
  • A local hiking trail
  • A nearby beach
  • A lake close to your home

Invite friends or loved ones to new places if you’re exploring potential awe-walk locations. You’ll have more fun adventuring through your local area with your favorite people. They may even get inspired by your new exercise goal and start awe walks too.

Enjoy Your New Gentle Exercise Routine

Awe walks are easy ways to exercise more, improve your physical health and boost your mental health. Use this guide to start your new weekly routine and get more in touch with the environment as you work on reducing your stress.

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