Walking or strolling is one of the top ten ways people use to get relief from stress.
First and foremost, a recent survey found that about 55 percent of American adults said they were stressed during most of the day. Moreover, 45 percent said they worried.
Most noteworthy, a 2018 survey found somewhat similar results. First, nearly 33 percent of those surveyed said they visited a doctor about stress related issues. Also, 33 percent said their job was a regular source of stress. Next, 52 percent said financial issues were a frequent cause of their stress. Lastly, 57 percent said they were paralyzed by the stress.
Next, these were some of the most popular ways people, under stress, used to relieve their stress.
Now, studies and research show that walking has significant stress relieving benefits.
Now, walking for fitness or stress relief can be done almost anywhere. Indeed, strolls can be done in a shopping mall, on a treadmill, in front of your TV, or outdoors. However, choose a safe and peaceful place to stroll. Also, find a partner to encourage and support each other.
Most of all, wear shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. Also, when you buy shoes, be sure to walk around the store before you take them home. By the way, try to buy your shoes late in the day when your feet are their largest.
Next, wear clothes that keep you dry and comfortable.
First and foremost, divide your walk into three segments.
Now, if you have a busy schedule, break up your walks into multiple sessions throughout the day. But, be sure each session is at least 10 minutes long.
Most of all, vary your routine. For example, try strolls in different places to get a change in scenery.
Next, according to a 16-week study, meditating while strolling has the greatest impact on improving mood. By the way, this study involved 135 volunteers divided into five groups. Meanwhile, the different groups walked at different paces. Some walked quickly while others slowly. Also, some groups meditated as they walked while other groups did not.
Now, as their meditation, the strollers simply counted “one, two, one, two…” as they strolled. Moreover, the meditation was designed to have them focus on their steps instead of thinking about other concerns. Meanwhile, regardless of the speed of their strolls, the meditating groups experienced the greatest reduction in stress and most improvements in mood.
Now, a group of researchers from Stanford University thought that walking in nature might help reduce ruminations. By the way, as they describe it, ruminations are “a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses”.
In fact, ruminations are what happens when you get really sad, but you can’t stop thinking about your glumness and what’s causing it. For example, the cause for these ruminations could be a breakup, a layoff, or a biting remark.
Furthermore, ruminations show up as increased activity in a brain region called the subgenual prefrontal cortex. By the way, this is a narrow band in the lower part of the brain that regulates negative emotions. Furthermore, if ruminations continue, unabated, for too long, depression can set it.
Next, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Stanford scientists examined whether a nature walk could help reduce ruminations in 38 mentally healthy people. Indeed, the nature walkers showed decrease in ruminations and in activity in their subgenual prefrontal cortices.
Therefore, strolling in natural environments are more restorative and thus confer greater psychological benefits. So, next time you are ruminating, go on a walk by yourself to get healed.
Next, mindful walking helps relieve stress by you connecting with the experience of stress in the body and mind. Now, the mind is focused on the moment by moment experience of the following.
Consequently, your mind is not focused on the source that’s causing the stress. Therefore, just keeping balanced and upright is enough to focus on the mind.
Furthermore, when you walk in nature, your mind’s attention also falls on the sound of the rustling leaves and on the beauty of the light falling on the path. As a result, you gain a broader perspective of the walking experience.
So, next time you go on a walk by yourself, try mindful walking to get healed.
While walking is easy for nearly everyone, there are many, who, for health reasons, are unable to walk on their own. However, walking is good for them too. And, it’s not just the physical benefits of getting the exercise, but also to help their mind.
Now, those using these walking aides need to walk in areas which accommodate these aides. For example, here’s a sampling of the list of things to be aware of as you map your walking course.