8 surprising ways a walk can help you de-stress
How much should you walk?
There’s not really a right or wrong way to walk, as long as you are being safe. Walking is as flexible as you want to be, so make it yours. Think of it as your “me time.”
Just starting out? Know that it’s great to start small. No amount of time is too little! Even just a few minutes will benefit you and is better than nothing. Carve out a time in your schedule to make walking a daily habit, so that it’s easier to stick with.
There’s no need overthink it, especially if you’re just beginning. Simply put one foot in front of the other and keep going. You don’t need a gym membership. You can walk indoors or out. Grab a family member, join a walking group, or hit the walking trails solo. No matter how you approach it, regular walking has a positive effect on your physical health, mental health issues and everything in between.
Over time, try to work up to doing at least 30 minutes a day. If that seems to big of a chunk, you could divide this into 15 minutes before breakfast and 15 minutes before dinner, or whatever works for you.
Under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ guidelines, adults are encouraged to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise every week. That can easily be accomplished as 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace, five times a week.
READ: Do you actually need to walk 10,000 steps a day?
Start today to experience the stress-busting benefits of walking
I’m not claiming that walking solves all of life’s problems. But it can be a valuable tool in your toolbox to help you feel better, get better, and be better. Even if it only helps a little, it’s worth it.
Exercise lifts your mood, gives you energy, boosts your productivity and creativity, benefits your overall health, and makes you feel good. And this helps you in every facet of your life. That’s why I’m encouraging you, just as I do with my clients, to make it a regular part of your day.
But don’t just take my word for it. Discover all the amazing benefits yourself by taking a walk today. Stop stressing about it — and walk about it.
READ: Increase your energy and get fit with this 4-week walking plan
If stress is affecting your quality of life, or if you think you may be struggling with depression or anxiety, contact your primary care provider or use our Find A Doctor tool to connect with a physician or mental health care professional. Healthy Blue members can search for a provider here.