One in 10 adults in the United States wrestles with depression. Many use antidepressant medications as a way to treat this condition. Is there a more natural way to treat this common ailment? Is there something you can do to lift your mood? Here are some surprising ways walking reduces anxiety.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am certain that sometimes medication is necessary. However, I have found there are other ways to lift a downcast frame of mind whether you take medication or not.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has done research which says that a 10-minute walk may be as good as a 45-minute workout. 10 minutes can definitely boost your mood.
Why Walking Works
Your legs are sometimes considered your second heart. Walking helps to get the blood pumping quickly around in your body. The oxygen nourishes all the cells of your body. Your sluggishness is gone, and you feel healthy inside and out!
As you walk your muscles become toned as well as your abs. Even your arm muscles get stronger as you pump them while you walk.
You are shifting the pressure of your weight from your joints to your muscles, in that way it makes your muscles stronger.
Walking is just the beginning of a cascade of biological events. It protects your body against disease such as heart disease and diabetes, it increases lung capacity and improves brain function.
Improved Mobility and Less Pain
Walking improves mobility and lowers pain levels. Those benefits alone should lift your spirits. Short walks when it is convenient, are better than waiting for that elusive time that you have for a longer workout session.
Physical activity can be useful in smaller bursts of time. It can boost your mood so that you never get to that place of depression in the first place.
Just going out for a jaunt, may be responsible for increasing the feel-good, endorphin hormones.
How Does Walking Help with Anxiety?
Research shows that physical activity can protect from the development of depression in children, adults, as well as older adults. There is much evidence from many random control groups demonstrating that exercise is effective in treating depression.
It is not a panacea and may not work equally well for everyone. You still need motivation and a desire to exercise in cooperation with any walking routine.
Is Walking an Antidepressant?
Something as simple as walking at a brisk pace is an all-natural treatment to fight depression.
Researchers found that walking about 100 steps a minute was a good benchmark for a brisk walk.
Research also shows that people with higher levels of physical activity, show fewer symptoms of depression. Physical activity gives you more feel-good hormones to raise your mood. Results of this research was noted around the world. It showed consistent findings across many countries and cultures, including all age categories, from children to seniors.
Surprising Ways Walking Reduces Anxiety
The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking each week. If you take up jogging, one and a quarter-hour of exercise each week should be sufficient.
Just getting out in the fresh air and sunshine is all it takes to boost your mood.
Walking and Inflammation
Walking can also lower inflammation in the body. The physical benefit of this could have a great influence on your mood. The effect could ripple down to the rest of your body, from better sleep, to healthy eating, as a result of walking more often.
Break Sedentary Time with Activity
You can take just a few minutes each hour to help break up a sedentary life of sitting behind your computer.
Exercise and the Hippocampus
Neuroscientist have noticed that the hippocampus in the brain, the mood regulating region, is smaller in those who are depressed. Exercise encourages the growth of nerve cells, in the hippocampus, and improves nerve cell connections. This helps relieve depression, according to Dr Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Simon Ridley of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, suggests that “it’s never too late to start exercising to help keep our brains healthy.”
According to new research, some surprising ways walking reduces anxiety may be in taking as little as walking10-minutes in nature. Some college students found reduced the stress levels, they felt happier, and more focused, with reduced blood pressure, and heart rate after walking in nature. If you spend more time outdoors, walking or strolling along a beach, or in any other green space, you would be pleasantly surprised at the positive effect it would have on you.
Please Leave a Comment
I would love to hear of your experience. What effect does it have on you to get away from your desk and get out into the fresh air for a brisk walk?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioners. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.
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