If you’re on TikTok or Instagram, chances are you’ve heard of the Hot Girl Walk. Simply put, the trend elevates the simple exercise of walking into a confidence-boosting ritual and the best part of your daily routine. Popularized by influencer Mia Lind, the Hot Girl Walk is a two to four-mile walk, during which walkers should meditate on gratitude, their goals and ambitions, and—yep, you guessed it—how hot they are.
Not only is The Hot Girl Walk a serious investment in self-love and self-care, but it also boosts heart rate, improves muscle tone, and has a ton of other fitness benefits. In fact, Lind was inspired to rebrand walking as real exercise with real results, noting that it’s often overshadowed by higher impact or cardio-intensive workouts. And in addition to counting as real exercise, the Hot Girl Walk also stands out as an effective writing routine—one that even William Shakespeare and Robert Frost would endorse. Keep reading to discover the Hot Girl Walk’s significance for writers.
Walking improves mental health.
Writers and other creative people are more likely to struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Have you ever anguished over a poem, feeling stressed about how you can’t find the perfect word or craft an evocative, surprising last stanza? Or, do you find yourself deeply affected by writing about past challenges, traumas, and heartbreaks? While writing can be cathartic, it also demands a high level of emotional engagement—which can be exhausting. Walking provides refuge, according to researchers at the University of Mississippi. The study found that even a 10-minute walk positively enhanced mood.
Walking increases blood flow to the brain.
Feeling stagnant and uncreative in your writing—like you’re constantly using the same words, metaphor systems, or poetic forms? It turns out walking can help you operate at a higher cognitive level. A research team at New Mexico Highlands University found that walking led to an increase in blood flow to the brain, which “may optimize brain function.”
Walking energizes us.
It might not be a physical workout, but writing wears us out. When you need a wake-up call, turn to the Hot Girl Walk. A 2018 study published in the Ecopsychology journal noted that walking in an outdoor setting for 15 minutes led to an increase in energy levels. Next time you feel like taking a nap, try taking a Hot Girl Walk, instead.
Walking is rhythmic.
Writing is a multisensory practice. Instead of just seeing their words scrawled in their notebooks or typed on their laptops, poets can benefit from hearing their stanzas aloud or feeling their rhythm. In fact, the poetry teaching resource Poets Voice emphasizes how poetry hinges on “walking the line physically, creatively, politically, thus developing one’s individual rhythm and pace.” Walking can help poets develop line breaks and feel out poetic meter (after all, iambs are also called feet). Poet Edward Hirsch has written about how the rhythmic nature of walking has helped him memorize poems. Decades later, poet Hadara Bar-Nadav spoke about how writing has helped her process in an interview with Kansas City Public Radio: “As I was walking, I decided on what the correct revision was,” she said of a poem. “Because I could hear the rhythm differently.”
Walking can help us find solitude.
If you’re a millennial or Gen-Z poet, you probably live with roommates. Even if you live alone, you’re probably used to being in and out of meetings, classes, and more. With all of the people and forces vying for our time, it’s increasingly difficult to spend quality time alone. Walking presents a solution. The solitude that walking provides helps people tap into their internal worlds and escape into their thoughts, an absolutely necessary ritual for poets. Donald Hall, an award-winning poet who published more than 20 collections, wrote in The New Yorker about how walking helped him find crucial alone time: “Exeter was academically difficult and made Harvard easy, but I hated it—five hundred identical boys living two to a room. Solitude was scarce, and I labored to find it. I took long walks alone.”
Much like the Hot Girl Walk, yoga can improve mindfulness, reduce stress, and more. After a walk, when you’re ready to stay still and grounded, try out our yoga pose and poetry pairings.
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