Walking Reduces Depression

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relaxed middle aged woman walking at the park

Walking reduces depression by improving your mood and increasing your energy.  Your sadness is reduced and you can feel lighter. 

Professional woman can relieve their stress by going for a walk.  It is good emotionally and physically. 

I go for a walk 5+ days a week and suggest it to all my clients.  You will feel relieved😊. 

There are 3 main benefits of walking to reduce depression.

#1.  Walking Reduces Depression by Energizing You

According to Janice Neuman at Reuters in her article “Regular Walking Can Ease Depression”:

“Women who averaged 150 minutes of moderate exercise (golf, tennis, aerobics classes, swimming, or line-dancing) or 200 minutes of walking every week had more energy, socialized more, felt better emotionally, and weren’t as limited by their depression when researchers followed up after three years.”

ACTION STEP: Go for a walk today.  25-30 minutes or more.  Notice your energy level at the end.  How do you feel?

You can wake up your body by getting some light exercise.  Get some movement in your joints. 

The energy can help you feel better and reduce depression and anxiety.   

#2. Walking Reduces Depression by Releasing Endorphins

When you go for a half an hour or longer walk, you can boost your mood with the release of endorphins.  I notice it when I walk.  I walk mostly for the emotional benefit.  The physiological benefit is a bonus. 

The key is to just do it.  And going into nature is best.  I also am present as I walk.  Feel the temperature, listen to the birds and look at the trees or blue sky.  Be in the moment.

Walking can be a meditation.  As you are present, you can get out of your thoughts and your mind.  Joy can bubble up.  The feel-good chemicals are released during this whole process.  It can be subtle.   You may feel an inner smile.  This takes practice. 

Sometimes when I feel some sadness or stress come up, I’ll go for a walk in nature.  I will concentrate on being in the moment.  I always feel better.  Sometimes it may take you a couple minutes to get into it.  But it is possible.  Using your sense perceptions to connect with your life in the here and now. 

It can be a highlight of your day. 

ACTION STEP: When you go for a half an hour or longer walk, notice how you feel near the end.  How is your mood?

You will probably feel lighter. 

The key: When you go for a walk, you will feel more energy and in a better mood

You can relieve depression and anxiety by going for a walk.  You can come into the present moment.  Your mood will be better.  You will be empowered😊. 

#3.  Walking Reduces Depression and Improves Brain Function

In the Harvard Health Letter “Exercise Is An All-Natural Treatment to Fight Depression”:

“Exercising starts a biological cascade of events that results in many health benefits, such as protecting against heart disease and diabetes, improving sleep, and lowering blood pressure. The real value is in low-intensity exercise sustained over time. That kind of activity spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function makes you feel better.”

ACTION STEP: Be aware of how you are feeling before, during and after the walk.  How do you feel emotionally and physically?  Notice what is going on. 

Walking can help you relieve depression and anxiety.  You can boost your mood and improve your health.  Going during daylight will help you get some Vitamin D, which can help your mood.  Even a 5-minute walk can help.  45 minutes would be better. 

You can breakthrough depression.  It takes some effort.  You can enjoy the process.  It is possible.  Walking reduces depression and adding this and other healthy and happy habits into your life can help you move toward satisfaction and contentment😊.

To Your Happiness,

Jim Twomey

Tucson’s Depression and Anxiety Breakthrough Specialist

Founder and CEO of Peace for You

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