Between a crashing economy, job losses, illness, fear, and disruption, the last few months have added a lot of stress to our day to day lives, and many are operating from a place of heightened anxiety.
It’s more important than ever to take time to recharge, but what to do when many of the traditional ways we relax are no longer available to us? Hanging out with friends, holidays, spa days are out the window. But there are still a lot of options!
My favorite way to recharge in the last few months has been going for a walk. There’s something so refreshing – mentally and emotionally – in just stepping outside.
Today I’m sharing just three benefits of walking, and why regular walks can help you recharge and build your resilience.
1. Walking releases endorphins to reduce stress and boost your mood
Endorphins are neurochemicals released in during activities like eating, exercise, or sex. They act on the opiate receptors in our brains to reduce pain and boost pleasure, resulting in an overall feeling of wellbeing. Essentially, endorphins are mood boosting magic! And they don’t just act to reduce stress in the moment, but also improve your ability to manage stress long term.
2. Walking helps you process thoughts and think creatively
Walking is meditative, it takes you away from your desk and gives your brain the space and time to organize and process your thoughts. Beyond that, a Stanford study found that walking increased creative inspiration by an average of 60% versus sitting, and participants creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.
3. It’s enough exercise to improve blood pressure, cholesterol, and sleep quality.
A regular walk at a moderate pace is all the exercise you need to get the physiological benefits of moving your body. Take it from New York Times health columnist Gretchen Reynolds: “One of the biggest misconceptions is that exercise has to be hard, that exercise means marathon running or riding your bike for three hours or doing something really strenuous… If you walk, your body registers that as motion, and you get all sorts of physiological changes that result in better health.”
So for some good mood-boosting endorphins, mental clarity, reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, improved sleep and much more – take a walk!
Share the love! Check out this downloadable #ResilientRitual graphic showing these reasons to take a walk.