Something simple like taking time out of your day for a walk can do wonders for mental and physical health, that is why mood walks are now available on Humber and Guelph-Humber campuses.
Leanne Henwood-Adam, fitness coordinator at Humber College said mood walks are hosted through the athletics department three times a week, Mondays at 1:10 p.m., Wednesdays at 12:10 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m.
Participants meet at the athletics customer service desk located at the north end of building A on the first floor.
“We’ve always been excited to offer anything we can to help with mental health and we know being in the fitness industry that exercise in general always helps,” said Henwood-Adam.
The mood walk takes participants through the Humber Arboretum and are usually around 40 minutes long.
Evidence suggests that one of the best ways to improve your mental health is by simply spending time outside.
“The Arboretum is amazing because you can go through it and feel like you out in the country, you don’t feel like you’re in the city or like you’re at Humber, so participants come back feeling refreshed,” said Henwood-Adam.
There is evidence to suggest that one of the best ways to improve your mental health is by simply spending time outside.
Mood walks will take place indoors when the weather is too severe.
Agnes Coutinho, assistant program head of kinesiology at Guelph-Humber said, holding the mood walks indoors gives people a chance to explore new parts of the campus.
“Humber students might get the opportunity to see the plant wall, while Guelph-Humber students might get introduced to the athletics services at Humber,” said Coutinho.
Mood walks are led by athletic department staff trained in first aid and CPR.
In addition to the regular mood walks Henwood-Adam and Coutinho are reaching out to groups on campus to organize and run their own mood walks on campus.
Coutinho said mood walks are “well proven to have mental and physical health benefits”.
Erika Caldwell a third-year kinesiology student at Humber and VP of the Kinesiology Society was one person who reached out to plan a mood walk on behalf of her group.
“As a student, you always study the most you can, but we know in kinesiology that getting out and doing physical activity or taking a break actually improves your memory, improves your focus, so it can be beneficial, and I think a lot of people don’t actually realize that”, said Caldwell.
Caldwell said she plans to host two more mood walks, since the first one was so well received, with over 30 participants.
Coutinho also mentioned specialty mood walks hosted by the Arboretum.
Coutinho said these mood walks include additional activities such as snowshoeing and feeding birds.
Coutinho said Arboretum mood walks meet at the main entrance of the Arboretum located at the end of lot 1.
Coutinho noted a significant drop, in turn, out for the mood walks during exam season, however, this is where mood walks become most valuable as it is essential students find the time to take a mental break.
Coutinho added that all mood walks are drop-in and completely free, so students and faculty should feel free to participate in any upcoming mood walks
Mood walks are a province-wide initiative started by the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, in partnership with Hike Ontario, Conservation Ontario, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health according to the mood walk initiative website.
If you are interested in organizing your own mood walk feel free to contact Leanne Henwood-Adam at email@example.com or Agnes Coutinho at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: https://www.guelphhumber.ca/mood-walks