Post-pandemic, exercise seems to have become a priority in everyone’s lives. Before lockdown started, I rarely could be bothered to find the time in my schedule to work out. The most you would see me move is when I was late to class! Over the past year or so, taking care of our well-being has climbed the ladder of priorities. Now more than ever, I see college students counting their steps, trying to get all those rings filled on their fitness watches.
While I admire the powerful gym enthusiasts on my feed and the productive users who give off “That Girl” energy, exercising to me will always be like homework…I never want to do it but I know it has to get done. YouTube pilates and embarrassing myself in the free weight section will never compare to my favorite activity — throwing on my sneakers and strolling around my neighborhood as I blast “Crybaby” by Megan Thee Stallion in my headphones much too loud. Of course, I am talking about the infamous TikTok trend, the “Hot Girl Walk.”
Not to be dramatic (says the most dramatic Leo on the planet), but getting outside and going for a long walk each day has transformed me into the person I am. Not only do I feel better physically, but I have given myself the opportunity to reflect and (literally) make strides in my personal growth.
Here are five reasons to consider incorporating an hour-long walk into your routine.
01. Get Your Body Moving
Personally, I don’t want to drop my entire paycheck on an overpriced gym membership. And, the thought of sweating it out in my packed university’s fitness center, where all my classmates will see me, makes me very self-conscious. Take up walking…it’s free.
There are so many health benefits to this form of cardio. Yes, you will burn calories and tone your body, but it is so much more than that. According to exercise physiologist Pete McCall via Insider, walking will increase your energy levels and your overall cognition. This “walker’s” high will lift you up, making you feel less tired and ready to conquer the day.
02. Clear Your Head
Going for a hot girl walk will combat the overthinking that seems to consume your mind. School brain is hard to handle, nevermind inevitable dating games, friendship drama, and the social media flood––a package deal you sign up for when you become a college student. You need a detox.
Taking time out of your day to remove yourself from all distractions will allow you to truly reflect on what’s bothering you, what your goals are, and what is really going on in your life. What are you grateful for? What do you want to change? Take this opportunity to be present in the moment and disconnect from all the things that might be blinding you from the reality of what is going on around you.
03. Finally Listen to that Podcast
This time is not meant for scrolling through social media or going through your to-do for the fifteenth time of the day. Instead, dedicate your walk to the things you truly enjoy and that will better you. That podcast you have been meaning to listen to can finally move from your Notes app to your headphones. Listening to these conversations will keep you company as you keep your feet moving.
My favorite podcast series to listen to on my walks are not limited to “Mood with Lauren Elizabeth,” “Working Title,” and “Fashion no Filter.” I get to really pay attention to each episode, gaining impactful insights and knowledge that I can then apply to my own life. I feel good and grow a little more after my daily walks.
04. Explore Your Neighborhood
It is too easy to limit yourself to your own space. You travel from your dorm to class to the dining hall and back. When I first started college, I spent most of my days in my room instead of experiencing the city I was right in the middle of. When I started getting out the door with no planned destination, I discovered what I was missing.
The hot girl walk is a great excuse to explore your surroundings and get familiar with your community. Meet your neighbors, pet some adorable dogs, and maybe even find some hidden gems right around your corner. On these walks, you can connect with nature. Take advantage of the fresh air and the warmth of the sun’s rays. Admire the stunning foliage in the fall, the holiday lights in the winter, and the blooming flowers in the spring.
05. Work on your Self-Sufficiency
This walk can definitely be fun with friends and spark some great discussions. However, consider going out alone. Practice doing things on your own to learn that you are okay by yourself. Codependency is a tricky thing — why would I do this by myself when I can invite my roommates? However, by going on these walks, you are teaching yourself how to not feel lonely when you are alone. You are learning to enjoy your own company and take care of yourself.
Not only did treating my sidewalk like a runway make me feel like the hottest person alive, but strutting alone really boosted my self-confidence. I was doing this strictly for me. It made me proud of myself.
Carving an hour out of your day to get your energy up and reflect on your life might just be the best thing you did for yourself. What are you waiting for? Stop pushing your well-being to the side and start moving forward. Go for a hot girl walk right now. Don’t think about it…throw on your sneakers and 1, 2, 3 out of the door. You will thank yourself later.
Featured image by @apatkovic.