How to use walking to reduce stress

There's nothing like a worldwide pandemic to induce unfathomable stress.  Stress is the #1 enemy of your immune system.

So, what's a person to do?  

  • Stress is inevitable in this situation.  
  • Stress dismantles your immune system.  
  • You need your immune system to keep you healthy.
 

"It's not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it." Hans Seyle

-Hans Seyle -

The answer is to manage your stress.  There are lots of ways to manage stress.  Some are complicated and some are super easy.  One easy way is walking.

  • It's spring.  
  • The weather is getting nicer.  
  • You really can't go anywhere except outside.  
  • You have lots of extra time on your hands.  
  • Make the best of this situation and get walking to relieve stress.

Walking will not just help you relieve stress.  It will also help with the extra weight your gaining during the quarantine.

Related Article >>> 11 Ways to Jump Start Weight Loss <<<

Read on for some tips to help get you walking to relieve stress and feel better about yourself.

 

Walk More Outdoors

When you can, get outside to walk.  The fresh air and sunshine are miraculous healers.  They're even more powerful now that we've been cooped up for weeks.  Walk around your neighborhood or a local park.  Make your dog happy with extra walks.

Being in touch with nature has profound health benefits.  Take time to notice the trees and flowers blooming, the birds in the sky, the water running through the creeks, your neighbors' beautiful landscaping.  Smell the beautiful flowers blooming.  Listen to the birds chirping.  Feel the breeze in your face.  Embrace all of it.

Related Article >>> Health Benefits of Being Outdoors <<<

Walking for stress relief
 

Get Your Steps In Challenge

Are You Up For A Challenge?

If you’ve been wanting to get more physical activity into your routine but don’t know where to start, don’t worry, you’re not alone, and I'm not judging. In fact, I want to help!


Take it Easy

Think of walking as self care and a way to relax.  Try not to think of it as fitness or exercise, meaning don't associate it with something you may not enjoy.  Remember the goal here is to relieve stress,  not to induce it.  Listen to music that feeds your soul while you walk.

Although vigorous exercise has many health benefits, too much can stress the body.  We're looking for balance here and ways to calm the body.

 

Try Breathing Exercises

You can also do breathing exercises and mindfulness as you are walking. You might find your walking routine becomes like a short therapy session, where you're able to clear your mind and be present in the moment. It is like a form of meditation, where you really focus more on being mindful during the entire experience.

You have to breathe when you walk, so why not learn to make the best out of it.  Take some time to only focus on your breathing (of course be mindful of your surroundings for safety reasons). Inhale and exhale slowly, paying attention to how you feel and what you hear every time you intake a breath. This helps to relax you while you are walking, and can get you into a meditative headspace.

​Use Walking as Your Form of Self-Care

As mentioned before, try to think about walking as a way to practice self-care. This is really important if you have a lot of stress in your life. Remember that walking helps to release endorphins, and is amazing for your mental health as much as your physical health. Try to do it every day for at least a few minutes, whether you prefer walking alone or with friends or family.

Listen to Something Positive While Walking

If you spend a lot of time walking, you might want to make the time more productive.  You can use the time to learn something new.  Listen to a podcast or an Audible book.  Find something on YouTube you can listen to while you walk.  Obviously, you don't want to be staring at your phone screen while your walking.

If you just need to unplug, try listening to some soothing music on your walk.  Or leave your phone at home and completely surrender to just walking.  If you don't have much time to devote to walking, you might want to go this route.

 

 

"The most powerful force to maintaining a good immune system is the power of positive thinking and not allowing yourself to be unnecessarily drained emotionally by worries and fears." 

- Frederick Lenz -

Get Motivated to Walk

If you need some help getting motivated to walk, try a fitness tracker.  That concrete data is very motivating for some people.  I use Sweatcoin.  It tracks my steps and pays me to walk.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used to help motivate and energize you to walk.  They can help if you have allergies.  They can also help to keep the bugs away from you.  They can be used to open up your airways and help you breathe better.  They can be used after your walk to soothe sore muscles.

Related Article >>> Prevent and Soothe Bug Bites with Essential Oils <<<

Conclusion and Next Steps

Walking is about as natural as it gets and it's one amazing way to combat stress.  Walking can be adapted to meet most fitness levels, so it's time to get up and start walking.  

Walking is only one natural way to relieve stress.  There are many more.  

Related Article >>> Top 8 Foods to Relieve Stress <<<

For more ways to manage stress and thrive during difficult times, download Building Resilience in Difficult Times.  

ways to relieve stress
 
 

Building Resilience in Uncertain Times

Learn simple, effective ways to manage stress during difficult and uncertain times.

This post contains affiliate links.  Click here for full disclosure
Walking to Relieve Stress

4 Comments

  1. Brenda West on April 28, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Great post! I have been working for a group of neurosurgeons for the past twenty years and hands down, walking is the very best physical therapy for their recovery. We explain to them how important walking is not only for the surgery recovery but it’s heart healthy and a great stress reliever not too mention it’s FREE! Great read!! ♥️♥️

    • Shellie Lynn on April 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you for this helpful insight!

  2. Cassie on April 28, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I can vouch for the therapeutic nature of walking. I pace, er walk our long driveway every day! Especially now. Six trips back and forth make a mile. This is on top of chasing kids around the acreish yard area when they play outside. It keeps the mean mama mood at bay!

  3. Dan "Jay" Reyes on April 29, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Good read. I like your stress buster tips. I especially like the one you mentioned about listening to something positive while walking–that tip is cool. Thank you for sharing this post.

Leave a Comment