How walking benefits mental health

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Walking doesn’t just benefit your physical health, it’s a great boost for your mental health, too. In fact, study after study has proven just how beneficial walking can be. Here are just five ways striding out can help you:

1. Release pent-up energy
Our bodies have been designed to move and when we’re sedentary or sit inside for a long time, pent-up energy gets trapped inside and creates more stress.

2. Create a sense of clarity
Have you ever returned from a quick lunchtime walk and found you have the answer to a problem you’ve been stuck on for a while? Well, that’s because walking helps to re-energise the brain, giving you a better sense of clarity.

3. Reduce stress hormones
Walking throughout the day can help to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and calm adrenaline levels. High cortisol can cause increased anxiety, agitation and adrenal fatigue.

4. Pump up endorphins
Walking at any speed can help to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins. This stimulates relaxation and can improve mood.

5. Focus on the present moment.
The act of walking can help us be less distracted by worries and helps us to focus on the present moment. You could even try a walking meditation which is designed to bring body and mind together in sync.

It isn’t just walking that can be beneficial. Spending time outside everyday can improve both mental and physical wellbeing. Sit outside and take in the natural sounds around you, listen to a podcast or practise a short meditation.

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