The news is brutal right now: war, disease, climate change, shootings. It is hard not feel some sense of anxiety, despression, or stress. Here at EverWalk, we advocate walking to help ease the stress and anxiety so many are feeling these days.
OUR MENTAL HEALTH
When we feel anxiety, depression, stress, our natural inclination can be to withdraw from the world. But when we do this, we disconnect from one another and from sunshine, fresh air and visual beauty — all of which can help us heal.
That is why walking is such a game changer. Studies contine to show that sunshine, exercise, fresh air, and connecting with nature and other people can shift a host of mental health symptoms.
Conversely, when we spiral inward, our minds can play tricks on us. Elevated stress levels produce hormones like cortisol and adrenaline with the “fight or flight” response. When excess hormones seep into the bloodstream, they not only raise blood sugar levels, but they can have a host of other deleterious side effects — both mental and physical. Hopelessness, depression, and suicidal thoughts can start to sneak in, and anxiety begins to tighten its grasp.
That’s when it’s time to reach for your sneakers and get outside!
WALK IT OUT
According to the most current scientific studies, even walking thirty minutes a day can lower your heart rate, relieve anxiety and lower your stress level. While anxiety releases excess hormones, walking released endorphins that serve a range of healing functions — including balancing adrenaline and cortisol in our nervous systems and acting as natural painkillers.
Anxiety, depression, and stress can be exacerbated by sleep deprivation. Conversely, sleep deprivation can be caused by anxiety, depression, and stress. Walking helps with this, too, by promoting deeper and more consistent sleep patterns. The more sleep we get, the better our brains work, and the less anxiety we often feel.
Studies show that regular exercise such as walking can reduce the risk of mental health issues by as much as twenty-five percent! And better yet — that number goes up the more consistent you make your walking!
A MILE A DAY
When we are struggling with anxiety, depression, or stress, it can feel challenging to get outside. That’s why we have created The EverWalk Mile. Download the monthly EverWalk Mile Calendar and see how many days each month you can walk a mile!
Having a goal, creating a routine, challenging yourself not to walk far but rather to walk consistently can make all the difference in managing anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Use your Apple Watch or Fitbit to track your steps and cross off your mile each day.
- Try to create a routine and mark off each day you succeed in walking your EverWalk Mile.
- If you don’t have time for a mile, just get out there for five or ten minutes. Every step helps!
YOU CAN DO IT!