Walking for Stress Relief – 6 Reasons to Get Moving

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Walking…some of us do it most of the day. Whether it is walking to your car, walking to your class, or walking to your job, walking is a normal part of everyone’s daily life. But walking is more than just a means to get around it is a great way to get in some cardiovascular exercise. As a matter of fact, just a brisk walk is enough to get your heart rate up and be beneficial to your body, and like other exercises, you can use walking for stress relief.

walking for stress relief

How can walking help with stress

1. Spending time outdoors can reduce stress

Studies have shown that being outdoors with nature has a way of changing our mood. One study showed that getting outside to talk a walk and look at trees, even in an urban setting, can significantly reduce stress. Nature has been mentioned by many as a popular way to boost our moods and nature walks are used as therapy in communities all over the world.

2.Walking boost endorphins

Like many cardiovascular workouts, walking is a great way to increase your body’s natural endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in our bodies similar to morphine and are often referred to as a “natural high”.  This also improves your mood and helps reduce stress.

3. Improves mental sharpness

Like all exercise, walking can increase the blood flow to your brain. A study done at the University of British Columbia showed that regular exercise increases the size of the brain hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memories and emotions, thus improving memory and thinking skills.

4. Walking boost energy and reduces fatigue

You ever felt tired after a long day and didn’t have time for a nap? You should try taking a walk. A study in 2008 showed a significant increase in energy and a reduction in fatigue after following an exercise program centered around walking. I also have noticed a boost in energy when I take an evening stroll outside.

5. Walking can lower your blood pressure

The American Heart Association recommends that we take a brisk walk each day to help lower your blood pressure. A study Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California showed that walking had the same effects of lower your blood pressure as running.

6. Walking and laughing

Making your walk a group activity is a great opportunity to add the extra benefit of laughter. Maybe you and your husband want to lose weight together or you and your girlfriends like to take a stroll. Whoever you choose as your companion, use this opportunity to enjoy each other. Laughter is a great way to take your mind off of stress and improve your mood.

Benefits of Walking

Walking is great for stress and mood improvement but those are not the only benefits of walking. Here is a list of some benefits walking brings, walking helps you to;

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Prevent or manage different conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your balance and coordination

Proper Walking Technique

Before walking remember to do the following:

  • Get the right gear. Make sure you choose the proper sure that for your feet with the right arch support. Make sure the heels are firm enough and there is shock absorption. Always wear comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather. If you are going to walk at night be sure to wear bright colors or reflective tape to help make you visible to cars.
  • Choose your course carefully. If you’ll be walking outdoors, avoid running in areas that have difficult paths such as cracked sidewalks, or streets with potholes where you can become injured. If the weather isn’t appropriate for walking, consider walking somewhere indoors that allows runners such as a shopping mall.
  • Warm-up. Warm-up your muscles first by walking slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. I like to march in place.
  • Cooldown. Cooldown at the end of your walk like your warm-up by walking slowly for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.
walking for stress relief

Conclusion

Whether it is a stroll down the street with your family or a walk in the park with your dog, making walking a part of your daily routine has great benefits to help you relieve stress. Not only are you helping calm your mood you are doing something great for your heart and teaching your children great habits.

So find a friend, walk with your kids, grab your dog, it doesn’t matter what you do or how long you do it you won’t regret it.

So what do you think? Do you like to walk when you are stressed? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments below. As always any feedback is welcome!

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12 thoughts on “Walking for Stress Relief – 6 Reasons to Get Moving”

  1. I actually like walking and right about now the only thing I can do since the gyms are closed AND my boys won’t let me exercise at home!
    So I agree, walking is an awesome stress reliever!
    Brendaliz

    1. Yes, sadly a lot of us have been cut off from the gym and have had to find creative ways to get exercise at home. I like to do “Just Dance” on PS4 with my daughter and before that, I would watch a 2-mile walk at home on youtube to do. You can find a lot of workouts on youtube, that may help!

  2. Interesting article. I agree walking is good for us. I know I always feel great after a walk or run and I do both daily. I was not aware that walking helps your memory so thanks, I learned something which is always great. You mentioned walking being beneficial for Type 2 diabetics but did you know it is also good for type 1 diabetics? They just need to check sugars before during and after. Being active daily is beneficial for everyone.

    1. Hi Deb, Yeah walking is beneficial to both types of diabetes, I guess I should have mentioned that I am personally acquainted with type 2 but that is unfair to only mention the one and not the other. Thanks for sharing that and for commenting!

  3. A very helpful post. Yes, walking does alleviate stress. I’ve noticed that if I sit for too long without taking a break to walk even if it’s just around the yard, I tend to get frustrated and irritable especially when I’m handling a challenging task and struggling to find a breakthrough. When I take a walk outside and forget about the challenge for few minuts, when I come back to work I find that my energy flows better and the task becomes easier than before.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    Maggie

    1. Very true Maggie! The same is true with this staying in the house situation, if you don’t get out and walk and get fresh air, you get depressed and irritable. Thanks for sharing that and pointing that out.

  4. I love walking it one of the few things I do to distress and I always feel good after a walk. Walking has literally helped me so many problems that could have turned into a so bad problem. Thank you for writing this article. Beautiful.

    1. Hi Angie,

      That is true, you do feel so good after a walk, I miss talking walks in the evenings with my family when we lived in Cali. Walking is so good for you mentally and physically and it is so easy. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Thanks for your great article.

    For me, I often get stressed from my 9-5 job and my side-hustle job.

    This will be a good recovery to claim my tension. 🙂

    All the best.
    Kumponchai

    1. You are welcome! We all have our stressors but there is something about walking that is very beneficial to our overall health. Just getting outdoors in the fresh Alaskan air for me is a benefit in itself and it is energizing as well as stress relieving. Thanks for the comment, I wish you all the best!

  6. Hey Melissa,
    This article is literally for me! I used to walk a lot when I was younger and realized that it made me fully active and full of energy. But now as life gets busy and since I am home most of the time due to the pandemic, reading this is a great reminder of how important walking is to alleviate stress! I am putting my running shoes on and a hat and going out for a walk! Thank you so much for this wonderful post! 🙂

    1. Hi Sasha, I am happy and inspired that this post has helped you! Walking can do wonders for our health, we should all do the best we can to get out and walk, now more than ever to build up strong healthy bodies. Thanks for your comment and all the best!

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