This is a guest blog post by Marie Miguel for our monthly theme of First Steps to Better Health . Marie has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

We all know how important walking is, hearing how walking builds community and control, or how it gets the blood pumping. I myself love to walk, and whenever it’s nice outside, you better believe that I’ll be outside to take a stroll.

However, there is one form of walking I love, and that is the late night walk. There’s a good chance that you’ve had a late night walk before, but if you haven’t, it involves going on a walk late at night. We’re talking after midnight.

A time where most businesses are closed, where there are few cars passing you by. Usually, this walk is done with a friend or other loved one, but it can be done with anyone. Here are some things I love about this time.

It’s a Different Ambiance

It’s hard to explain, but when you walk at an unusual time of night, the ambiance seems to change. The crickets sound more intense, and if you’re walking out in the country, it smells different (usually, that’s the cow patties!) The streetlights seem like portals to another world, a world I’d love to get sucked into. Every time a car passes by, they feel like a visitor who came into your domain, then decided to leave.

Things Get Real at This Time

Ever had a talk with a friend and family member under the ambiance of late at night? Whether you’re teens talking about your future, adults trying catch up and wonder where their life is going next, or you want to have talks about philosophy, politics, or any other serious topic, the late night walk is the place to do it. No matter how socially awkward you are, everything seems to open up and make it easier for you to express your point. It’s unreal how many conversations and memories I’ve made taking those late night walks. It can feel almost as relieving as speaking to professional therapists.

It’s an Adventure!

In my time, I’ve gone on plenty of late night adventures. Back in the day, we walked through abandoned graveyards in the middle of the night or explored abandoned buildings. Forests become magical at this time. Whenever you have a group of people who want to adventure, late at night is the time to do it. The ordinary becomes the uncharted. The city becomes ancient ruins to walk past.

With that said, you do need to play it safe. Never break into a place you’re not allowed to and don’t walk in an area where you may risk injury. Adventure, but adventure with wisdom.

It’s the Night Owl’s Relief

If you’re like me and love the night, walking late at night can feel like the ultimate way to unwind. From clearing your head with some music and walking to moving around after a day of sitting down, it’s just what a person needs after a long day. Take a nice walk, unwind with some tea, then you’ll be out like a light.

You Meet Some Characters

Walking at night, you meet some interesting people. From singing bicycle ladies to some people who look a little suspicious, you’re going to see some interesting folks who have the same idea as you. Now obviously, you should always play it safe and not walk around in the middle of nowhere when there’s someone who looks fishy around, but if you’re walking in the right areas, you can find some magical folk.

When the weather is right, and if you’re in a decently lit area that’s fitting to walk, I’d highly recommend giving the sacred night walk a try. You’ll be glad you did.