Beach walks found to have positive mental health impacts

As the UK enter a second lockdown, many people find themselves wanting some time out of the house for some fresh air.

For those living in Cornwall, there are many scenic routes, coastal paths and beaches to explore for some daily exercise. With PM Boris Johnson asking everyone to remain indoors where possible and to “work from home if you can” it can become quite overwhelming being within the same four walls all day everyday. This is why beach walks, which are very accessible to people living in Cornwall have become something quite important, as it is somewhere where you can stay more than 2 metres away from others and enjoy a coffee whilst walking the dog. 

Especially for those who struggle with their mental health, Barcelona Institute for global health found: “even just a short walk on the beach can boost mental health and help to tackle depression.” This was after spending around 20 minutes in different environments, with the walks spent on the beach people reported being “in a better mood, having more vitality and stronger mental health.” A walk in an urban environment or resting at home didn’t have the same effect, and with 55% of the global population living in cities, it makes it more difficult to find blue spaces. As time goes on, cities need to be developed so that they’re more sustainable, healthier and there are areas which are beneficial to people’s mental health.

In Cornwall, the South West coast path has been recognised as part of the ‘Natural Health Service’ as it helps people to relax, connect with nature and exercise. By doing so it can help to save the NHS over £40 million a year and leads to fewer premature deaths. But currently, the population of the UK isn’t walking enough and could cost the economy up to £20 billion a year, which is why more people need to be encouraged to go for more walks by the sea, even if they are brief. The beaches in Cornwall have such natural beauty and popular spots which are visited by locals and tourists are both Rock beach and Polzeath beach located in North Cornwall.

 

 

If you’re lucky enough to live in Cornwall, remember all the health benefits of the gorgeous beaches which are on your doorstep. However, if you do live in a city, even though it is harder to locate blue and green spaces, it is worth travelling for to capture amazing images, make memories and improve mental health. As we are all allowed to meet one other household outdoors, make the most of the autumnal weather, before it gets too cold outside and people begin to feel isolated. It is important that we tackle mental health and reach out to friends so that they know they are not alone, and that something so simple as a beach walk can have so many benefits.

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