“Awe” Walks Improve Well-Being

Looking for awe helps us move from dis-ease to a sense of well-being.

We all know the physical health benefits of walking, but what if we add the intention to experience “awe” during our jaunts?

Researchers divided older subjects, (60 years plus) into 2 different groups. Both groups walked for 15 minutes and logged how they were feeling and thinking about during their walks.

Intentionally Look for Awe

However, the experimental group was asked to walk for 15 minutes in a natural setting and to intentionally look for moments of “awe” during their outings.

In the study, people who took a fresh look at the objects, moments and vistas that surrounded them during brief, weekly walks felt more upbeat and hopeful in general than walkers who did not. The findings are subjective but indicate that awe walks could be a simple way to combat malaise and worry.

Gretchen Reynolds

Examples of “awe” discoveries could include simple things like noticing a frog peeking at you from a nearby pond. Or observing the variety of hues during sunset. Or looking up at the sky through a rainbow of trees.

Awe Moments Improve Well- Being

As expected, the study participants who simply looked for these moments of awe, had an associated improvement in their sense of well being. Overall, the awe walkers felt happier, less upset, and more socially connected than the men and women in the control group.

The Take-Home Message is “Awe” some

As diabetes specialists, we encourage people to walk to help lower glucose, improve balance, and gain muscle mass. By adding this element of awe, we just might be helping people gain enhanced quality of life too.

Life is hard right now and many people are feeling isolated and sorrowful. By taking a fresh look at these little wonders all around us, it reminds us that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. And in that knowing, that each of us is important, meaningful, and loved.

Happy Monday. Love, Coach Beverly


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