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Walking for Health Day 14 – How walking can improve your mental health

Many people talk about walking to help burn calories and fat, improve their heart health and overall physical health, but don’t forget it is amazing for your mental health as well. Here are some ways you can actually improve your mental health just by walking.

It Helps to Release Endorphins

First of all, any form of exercise is going to help release endorphins, which are the happy chemicals in your brain. When you walk, you almost instantly start feeling happy and feel a weight come off your shoulders.

This does depend on the type of walking you are doing. While more strenuous workouts are also great for releasing endorphins, the experience during the workout can be a little different. You might find that for walking, you prefer to keep it calm and relaxing, and save the higher intensity workouts for other forms of exercise.

You Can Boost Your Energy

You will also get a wonderful burst of natural energy when you start walking on a regular basis. This energy is great to have early in the morning if you are someone who walks during your morning routine. You can even skip your coffee or reduce your caffeine in general, since you get natural energy just from moving your body.

This energy boost is amazing for your mental health as well. You often feel healthy and productive, helping you to relieve stress and get things done. For anxiety, it is great because without all that caffeine, you are actually helping to reduce some of your anxiety symptoms.

Walking to Relieve Stress

If you are dealing with a lot of emotional stress in your life, walking can be a godsend. Every time you walk, you not only release those endorphins, but you have a mini therapy session with yourself. Walking can be almost a cathartic experience, where you focus more on your breathing, enjoy the sights if you walk outside, and feel more peaceful.

Walking to Help with Anxiety

Many people have also found walking to help with their anxious feelings. This works in a number of different ways. First of all, as we mentioned, when you boost your energy with walking, you can skip the caffeine that tends to make your anxiety worse. But, that’s not the only way it helps.

You might also find that when you are walking, you begin to relax. The anxiety or panic you were feeling before starts to dissipate. Remember to walk only in places that don’t trigger panic. If you are someone who gets a lot of anxiety being around groups of people, walk at home on a treadmill or find a quiet place to walk, like a park.

Small steps make big changes

Sophie Chevolleau

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