walks in autumn

Feeling blue? Get out and go green.

October 10th is World Mental Health Day. We were planning on doing the usual tips for a healthy mind, or staying stress-free (check out our previous blog on this from 2018’s World Mental Health Day), etc. But you know the stuff, there are hundreds of blogs from people like Student Minds for you to read and get valuable advice from.

World-Mental-Health-Day-logo-Instead, we thought we’d give you another option. When we sat down in the Host office and thought about it, we realised that all our student accommodation is located within easy reach of some amazing city locations, stunning green spaces or a short journey from some amazing countryside.

So, on World Mental Health Day, stick on some comfy shoes, wrap up warm and go for a walk.

What better way to clear your head than to go outside and explore what’s on your Host doorstep, whether it’s exploring the stunning Peak District around Sheffield and Huddersfield, walking some of the 35 miles of canal towpaths in Birmingham or taking some great pics for the ‘gram in one of the great London parks. Every Host city has somewhere for you to leave the books behind, get some fresh air, get some inspiration for that assignment and enjoy those golden autumnal views.


Here are some awesome reasons, to get out there and enjoy a walk.

It’s Free – Save some of that student dollar for other activities, walking is as close to a free activity as it gets, let’s be honest all its going to cost you is time, a little rubber off the soles of your shoes and perhaps a couple of quid for a tea or coffee. Remember to use your Host reusable mug!

You get to explore – When you’re out and about walking, you’re more alert and notice more. Use your walk as an opportunity to explore the area around your student accommodation or the university, admire the scenery or explore those little streets that you’ve always wondered where they go. Who knows what you may find around the corner, an awesome new food store, coffee shop, etc.

It’s good for your brain A brief walk can improve memory and fight brain fatigue, and as a student, we all have suffered from that. We spend so much of our day thinking and worrying about everything and anything, taking a walk is a way to leave that all behind and regroup.

Your back – Researches at Tel Aviv University discovered that a 30-minute stroll was as effective at reducing back pain as many of the strengthening exercises that many physios prescribe!

Your creativity – There’s a massive list of writers who use or used walking as part of their writing process. English wordsmith William Wordsworth apparently spent much of his life on foot, walking and thinking about his next masterpiece. Writers’ block for that dreaded assignment? A walk might just clear it.

It’s good for the environment too – For every trip you take on foot it’s one less you aren’t taking in a gas-guzzling car, taxi or bus. Meaning its good for your health, good for your wallet and good for the environment.

And helps you sleep – It’s a scientific fact that regular walkers have fewer heart attack and strokes. A large number of studies have found that walking helps reduce stress and anxiety, which are commonly associated with sleep issues, such as insomnia. Any walk is good for sleep as long as it’s at least three hours before you go to bed, BUT a 7am stroll will apparently lead to a 75% increase in deep sleep!

You don’t have to do it alone – While sometimes there’s nothing better than taking some me time and clearing your mind on a walk, you could always make it a group activity with some of your flatmates. Remember, everyone needs to talk. Talking about your feelings and what’s going on in your life can be difficult, but it helps you deal with times when you are down or are struggling. Just chatting with your mates, naturally on a walk, can be one of the best ways to talk about what you’re going through.

Above all a good walk can do wonders for your mental health – Going for a good walk improves self-perception and self-esteem. Physically active people (we don’t mean gym monkeys, we mean those who step away from the Netflix binge and get out and walk) have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed and staying active help those who are depressed recover.


The Guardian has a series of Great City walks for some of your Host cities:

Walk regularly and you’ll see the difference that a good walk can make to your mind, your body, your studies and your happiness.

Sources: walkingforhealth.org.uk, The Guardian, Ramblers.org.uk, Sleepbubble.com, wisebread.com

#HostEnvironmentalPledge.
Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! If we can reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by 1% then we will donate £10,000, 2% reduction means £20,000, 3% is £30,000 and so on, to 3 charities; Student Minds, LandAid and Just a Drop.

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