Knock Out Stress Tip #4 – Walk It Off!

footsteps 02The scene is familiar to any sports movie. The intense protagonist has reached the breaking point with a teammate.  Tempers flare.  Before punches are thrown, the coach intervenes with a simple, but effective, command; “Walk it off!”  As if by magic, the tension dissipates and the protagonist is able to move on to win the big game for the team.

We’ve all seen the movie plot line play out a hundred times, but did you know that walking short distances really can improve your mood and help to de-stress?  Research has shown that walking short distances, even at a leisurely pace, while engaging in meditation exercises like counting or deep breathing can reduce anxiety and increase positive feelings of self-worth[1].  So the next time you’re grocery shopping, rather than circle the lot for the closest space, go ahead and park at the far side of the parking lot and walk the extra distance.  Your body and mind will appreciate the extra effort!


[1] Spilner, Maggie.  “A Step Ahead of Stress: Discover How to Optimize the Stress-Busting Benefits of Walking.”  Prevention November 2011.  Retrieved from http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/reduce-stress-walking-exercise?page=2.