Studies show that walking has significant stress relieving benefits. Moreover, either a slow stroll in a park with friends or a brisk power-walk reduces tension and anxiety. Most of all, walking provides the following stress relieving benefits:
- First of all, research reports that walking in a park shifts your brain into a calmer meditative state. In fact, walking triggers involuntary attention, meaning that it holds attention while also allowing for reflection.
- Next, walking in a park allows you to spend time in nature. And that has been linked to stress reduction. Furthermore, several studies report that time spent outdoors relieves stress, improves memory and attention by up to 20 percent.
- Also, brisk walking boosts the brain’s feel-good endorphins while reducing the stress hormone, cortisol.
- In addition, walking with friends develops strong social bonds – which provide stress-relieving benefits.
- Furthermore, social support from friends, family and community members have been shown to improve stress resilience by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Moreover, physical contact with a loved one or a pet lowers blood pressure and decreases cortisol.
- Finally, a 2008 study reported individuals with sedentary lifestyles experienced a 20 percent boost in energy and a 65 percent reduction in fatigue after starting out on a walking program.
Other popular methods to get relief from stress are illustrated in the infographic.