Mindfulness walks in nature
Doing low to moderate exercise in nature on a regular basis can help to lower blood pressure, improve sleep and increase energy levels. Mindfulness walks take this idea further and help you slow down and focus on the present moment - each step, each breath – feeling calm and relaxed.
Come along for a mindfulness walk at Kinglake National Park
Relax, focus your mind on the present and join Ranger Tony Fitzgerald for a 15-minute mindfulness walk at Kinglake National Park, along the Stuart-Judd Track at Jehosaphat Gully.
Top tips for mindfulness walks in nature:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
- Start by standing still and becoming aware of your body and how it feels.
- Breathe naturally and fully, deeply filling your lungs each time you inhale – pause – and exhale.
- Begin to walk slightly slower than normal pace. With each step, be aware in the moment of how your foot connects with the ground – heel-to-toe.
- Use your senses to keep you grounded in the present moment:
- What can you see? Notice the incredible range of colours in the natural world
- What can you smell? Breathe in the scents of the trees, the earth and the water around you
- What can you hear? Moving quietly and slowly means you are less likely to frighten away wildlife. Listen for bird calls and the rustle of animals foraging nearby
- What can you feel? Gently touch overhanging leaves, trunks of trees, the ground you stand on and feel the range of textures around you (remember when doing this to remain on the trail at all times and don’t damage or remove anything. Rocks and fallen branches are often habitat for important species!)
- When your attention drifts away take notice without judgment and gently guide your awareness back to the present moment.
- When you finish your walk, take a few more deep breaths, pause and reflect on the calm sense of being in nature. Slowly return to your regular activity.
Find out more about walks near you
There’s a walking trail to suit everyone’s fitness and abilities. Explore the Parks Victoria website to find your local park. Parks Victoria offers a range of free easy, intermediate and advanced volunteer-led park walks and mindfulness walks for those who prefer a guided group walk experience. Visit the Guided park walks page for further information.