Health Benefits of Walking

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Tight schedules, short tempered people and little time for relaxation – these are the real world situations we face at work or study that cause stress to body and mind. “What is it that can be done to reduce the stress?” is the million dollar question and ironically one of the best solutions to it is free of cost! The answer is simple: Just walk your way to stress relief.

Medical experts say that there is a brain secretion called Endorphin which is responsible for keeping out stress under bay. The Endorphin, which is also fondly known as “happy chemical” can be made to secrete artificially by the use of drugs and herbs. But, medical experts say that walking is the best natural way to stimulate Endorphin secretion.

A study published in “Annals of behavioral medicine” in the year 1999 showed that students who walked briskly had lower stress levels than the ones doing very vigorous exercises and the ones who don’t do any exercise at all.

Danny Dreyer, a running coach and the founder of ChiRunning program says that walking relieves both physical and mental stress.

How to Walk:

Start walking at a moderate pace and then increase it gradually, all the same do not walk too fast. Look straight ahead; don’t keep your head down – it may make you feel dizzy. It would be ideal if you look 5-7 feet ahead of you.

Posture is very important while walking; try to keep your backbone straight while walking.

Choose to walk in a clean and quiet place. Nice environment soothes and refreshes your mind while pure air refreshes the body. Keep your pace as consistent as possible and the strides that you take must not be long. Walking is best done early in the morning or late in the evening. A walk in the evening before sun-set gets you the added advantage of acquiring vitamin D.

Experts believe that you feel more energetic when you walk faster. They say that as you keep walking at a brisk pace, the negatives in your mind will be slowly cleansed. Brisk walking is also known as Power Walking.

Inhale deeply and exhale slowly while walking. The walking pace should not be too rigorous to cause panting. This methodology helps in relieving mental stress, and this technique also cures any headache if present.

A brisk walk of fifteen minutes is better than slow walking for an hour. So, always walk as briskly as possible.

When the stress levels get too much while at work or study, try walking briskly when you get some time, even if you get only a minute.

Medical experts advice people whose work is highly computer based not to sit continuously in front of the computer for long hours. They suggest a walk or a little stroll at least once in 2-3 hours so that the both the eye and the crammed body muscles would be able to relax.

With such an easy and cost-free stress relief method so readily accessible, never miss the opportunity to just walk your way to stress relief.