How Can Walking Help To Fight Anxiety & Depression?

Numerous studies have shown that walking can have significant mental and physical health benefits. And with the increase in anxiety and depression since the pandemic, walking is becoming a more popular lifestyle choice.

Doctors in the UK have started handing out “green prescriptions to patients with anxiety and depression. However, it should be noted that walking is only a strategy that supports your fight against anxiety and depression.

If you are already feeling the effects of anxiety and depression it can help to alleviate the problems. But the only way to overcome anxiety and depression is to seek help from an energy psychologist that can help you to release energies that are the underlying cause of your condition.

For now, let’s take a look at the positive effects walking can have to help alleviate the immediate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Physical Activity Releases Endorphins

Walking is a form of physical activity that promotes the release of endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. Regular exercise, including walking, can help increase endorphin levels, leading to improved mood and reduced feelings of anxiety and depression.

Gets More Oxygen Into The Brain

Oxygen is essential for the metabolic processes that occur in brain cells. The brain requires a constant supply of oxygen to produce energy and perform various cognitive functions, including memory, attention, and problem-solving. 

Sufficient oxygen levels help support optimal brain function, promoting clarity of thought and mental performance. It also influences mood and stress response by regulating neurotransmitters that support health and well-being. 

Stress Reduction

Stress is intricately linked with anxiety and depression. Walking outdoors in natural environments can have a calming and stress-reducing effect. The combination of fresh air, exposure to nature, and the rhythmic movement of walking can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.

Being around nature has a calming effect on the body and can help reduce stress. Combining deep breathing exercises, which involve inhaling fresh oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, can activate the body’s relaxation response. 

This response helps lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels (a stress hormone), leading to a sense of relaxation and improved emotional well-being.

Distraction and Cognitive Benefits

Engaging in physical activity like walking can act as a distraction from anxious or depressive thoughts. Walking allows you to focus on the movement, your surroundings, and the sensory experience, shifting your attention away from negative thinking patterns. Additionally, physical activity has been shown to enhance cognitive function, including attention and memory, which can positively impact mental well-being.

Social Interaction

Walking can be a social activity, whether it’s walking with friends, joining walking groups, or participating in community walking events. Social interaction and support can contribute to improved mental health by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness that often accompany anxiety and depression.

Studies also show that social interaction is central to positive mental health. When we spend time in the company of like-minded individuals – particularly if you passionately share the same interests. Many mental health experts believe this is why rates of anxiety and depression shot up during the Covid lockdowns. 

Routine and Structure

Establishing a regular walking routine can provide a sense of structure and purpose. Having a consistent physical activity routine helps create a positive habit and gives a sense of achievement, which can improve mood and overall well-being.

Sleep Improvement

Regular physical activity, including walking, has been associated with improved sleep quality. Adequate sleep is crucial for managing anxiety and depression symptoms, as sleep disturbances can exacerbate these conditions.

Download the Sweatcoin App 

Sweatcoin intends to encourage people to walk for health. If you are living with chronic anxiety and depression, why not download the Sweatcoin app onto your mobile phone. 

The purpose of the app is to provide people with the motivation to walk. We do this by covering your steps into a digital token that can be used in exchange for goods with over 300 retailers. So not only do we help to improve your mental health, we help to improve your bank balance as well. 

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13.06.2023