hiker legs hiking on stone trail

Walking… some of us do it all 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.

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 bodies natural endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in our bodies similar to morphine and is 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 of the other benefits of walking:

  • To maintain a healthy weight
  • To prevent or manage different conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes
  • To strengthen your bones and muscles
  • To improve your balance and coordination

Proper Walking Technique

Shoes, Footwear, Hiking Shoes, Walking

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.

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 your 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!

18 thoughts on “Walking for Stress Relief – 6 Reasons To Get Your Stroll On”

  1. Wonderful article….I agree that walking can help us reduce our stress. Very well explained and really very informative article. Thank you so much for sharing other health benefits and tips of walking as well, it is true that being physically active is very important for mental health and it keeps us away from stresses of everyday life.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Physical activity has so many benefits to keeping us healthy. I love walking because it isn’t as strenuous as other exercises and you can do it outside or in your home. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Great article and I have to get walking! I know that walking is great for stress relief and I always feel so much better when I get into a walking routine — but here in the northeast it is still dark in the early morning so maybe I wait until Daylight Savings…? Another excuse! Love your site and article — very informative. And I think it is time to buy a pair of Merrill sneakers, too…!

    1. Hi Amy,
      Excuses, excuses, lol. Call me crazy but I like to walk right after sunset but it is getting too cold, so I have excuses too haha. You will figure it out and yeah get them sneaker girl! Thanks for the comment 😀

  3. Thank you for a great article on walking.
    I must confess I had not even considered all the benefits of walking that you mention in the article. I live close to the seaside and it’s a shame I don’t go for more walks however your article has inspired me and I will definitely start. I also agree with you laughter is a great stress reducer, as they “laughter is the best medicine”.
    Thank you again, I will be visiting your site again for more tips… keep up the good work!

    1. Oh my God Moni I am envious of you, you live by the seaside, hehe. I hope you will walk and take me some pictures lol. Yes, laughter is the best medicine, and I love to share it. Thanks for stopping by and I would be delighted for you to stop by again. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Another great article Melissa! I have two little dogs, and right now I just send out to the backyard to stretch their legs, run around, and do their business. I also live close to a great lake with a trail all around it. I am going to get busy and start walking them on the trail. I should have been doing this anyway. I have thought about it, but time to put it in gear as I have been stressing way too much lately over my health issues. Thanks for the great information!

    1. Hi,
      I am glad to hear you have some great ways to get out and walk and your dogs will benefit from it too. I hope it helps you and I am sorry to hear about your health. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Walking is a great and perfect exercise. I usually walk a lot every day for my daughter’s school run and believe me it gives me great energy and good health. you have mentioned all the great benefits of walking, thank you for that. I think this article will encourage parents and everyone to walk more and more to stay active, it is itself an exercise.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I can say that is one good thing about being a mum kids keep you active. Walking provides so many benefits to your health there is no reason we shouldn’t walk. I always make sure I walk whenever I can, like taking the stair instead of the elevator or parking the car far. I can’t wait until the summer to walk even more. Thanks for the comment!

  6. I just came across this article looking for tips to relieve stress in my and my wife’s lives. We are pretty good at walking, I had no idea that just spending time outdoors can help with this – makes sense though. Looks like I need to work on getting her out more often 🙂

    1. Hi Matt,
      It is amazing the things we stumble across. Nature is the beginning of natural, hehe. When I get out and walk it feels so good to be out in the air feeling the sun on my skin and the air on my face. You may even notice the birds chirping, the trees growing, and bees buzzing. All the distractions are stress relieving. You won’t regret getting out more often. 🙂

  7. Thank you for the great and motivational article. In fact, I just started to walk every day for about 30-90 minutes.
    Unfortunately, I have a knee injury so it is hard in the beginning but after a while, it gets better.

    1. Hi Damir,
      I am glad you found the post beneficial. Walking does wonders for the body and the mind. I too have a bad knee but like you said after a while it does get better. No pain, no gain, is a true statement.

  8. Hi Melissa
    I like your post as it outlines why walking is good for health. I have just joined a walking group from our faith community and I have noticed the change physically. We walk every Saturday when we are off work and at first, I thought why walking but as you have pointed out indeed I agree with you it is good and it funny as we keep on talking and laughing along the way. Great post, thank you

    1. Hi Kwacha,
      Walking with a community is a great way to stay motivated and the social aspect is great. You get the benefit of exercise and conversation to keep you distracted, both great ways to relieve stress. I am glad you found the post helpful. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Wonderful article! My husband and I have been talking about getting into shape and I love walking but getting motivated is another hurdle I am up against since my day is packed with a full-time job and other tasks once I get home. But you have given me motivation and I am going to take your tips and get started. Thank you for your advice

    1. Hi Davona,
      I am so glad you found the post useful. You are right motivation is the hardest part but once you find it hang in there. You won’t regret what you gain from walking but physically and mentally. Walking with your husband is another great benefit. I too workout with my husband and it is one of the best things we can do for each other. Thanks for the comment!

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