This eight-week movement plan has been scientifically proven to improve mental wellbeing—and all you have to do is walk outside twice a week

The Movement for Mind plan showed its effectiveness in a randomized control trial and a larger 18-month study has confirmed the original findings

Woman walking
(Image credit: Colin Hawkins / Getty Images)

I know as well as anyone that movement can contribute to better wellbeing. My mind is in a better place when I can run regularly, and whenever work gets stressful I use yoga to calm my mind and release physical tension.

I've found the activities that work for me, but if you're searching for something that will make a positive impact on your wellbeing, try the free Movement for Mind program from running brand Asics.

What is the Movement for Mind program?

It's an eight-week plan that schedules two 30-minute audio-guided sessions a week, which combine mindful practices and movement, either running or walking.

The program is designed to be done outside, ideally somewhere that's not too busy.

Each week focuses on a different topic and apart from the opening and closing weeks, features a different expert. You can expect to learn effective breathing and meditation techniques, as well as hearing from a chartered psychologist, specializing in music psychology.

I'm especially interested in the sessions with Roos Tji, a coach and mindful movement expert. She believes that physical activity to improve fitness has become another thing on the to-do lists for many and that's sucked the joy out of what should be an enjoyable experience.

Does it work?

Yes! In 2021, a randomized control trial (RCT) of 204 healthy people showed improvements in wellbeing scores if they took part in the program versus the control group. Wellbeing was assessed using the recognized Warwick and Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale and the World Health Organisation Wellbeing Index.

The study took part during the pandemic, so would it work in the real world now? It's another yes, according to the results Asics has just released from an 18-month study of 2,909 people. While not as scientifically rigorous as a RCT, it showed similar results.

What do you need?

All you need are comfortable clothes, appropriate running or walking shoes, a smartphone and headphones.

If you need headphones, I can recommend the following from Fit&Well's tried-and-tested selection of the best earbuds.

Where can I find it?

You can find the audio sessions to stream on the Asics Movement for Mind webpage. It's also available through the free Runkeeper app, as well as on Spotify, Google Podcasts, iTunes and Iono.

Jonathan Shannon

Jonathan has worked as an editor of health and fitness websites since 2016. He discovered running, yoga and the gym workouts through work, and is passionate about helping readers enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle with trustworthy advice.