WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: WALKING DECREASES STRESS LEVELS

This week is International Stress Awareness Week. Stress is something that affects us all, and has become ‘the norm’ for a lot of people. However, if not managed effectively, it can lead to further mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Today we’re sharing a tip that has been proven to reduce stress levels – walking!

It’s common knowledge walking is good for us physically, but did you know that it’s also great for our mind? Going for walks can significantly reduce your stress levels and boost your mood. So why is it so good for our mental wellness?

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that when you walk in green spaces, your brain goes into a calm state with little to no signs of anxiety. It actually puts your brain into a meditative state, allowing you to quieten the mind, increase awareness and reflect on what’s going on around you.

Brisk walking is a cardiovascular activity which boosts the production of stress-busting endorphins. As a result, stress hormones are reduced and symptoms of depression also decrease. Those who walk regularly tend to experience an increase in their mood and self-esteem. It’s said that spending 20 to 30 minutes several times a week walking effectively reduces stress levels. Outdoor walking in nature spots also is very beneficial and research suggests that it improves memory and attention span as well as your ability to fight any stress.

Stress not only impacts your mind, it also causes negative physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, stomach aches, and a weakened immune system, which can be alleviated by walking. It helps lead to healthier cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems all of which can be effected by stress.

If you’re feeling stressed today, why not take half an hour to head to your local park and have a stroll around – you’ll feel so much better and be ready to handle the stress more effectively.

Check out last week’s Wellness Wednesday post HERE

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