It’s that time of the year again, when everybody is stressing out from a multitude of reasons: tax season for some and finals week for others. So when you’re in a tense or anger-inducing situation, taking a walk — it can calm your mind and body; walking is a good medicine.
Walking reduces stress in the body in several ways:
- It helps to eliminate stress hormones (such as adrenaline) from your body.
- It reduces tension in several large muscle groups — the glutes (buttocks), the quads (front of thighs) and hamstrings (back of thighs).
- It increases the production of beta-endorphins, which are thought to calm the body and promote restful sleep.
How to enjoy a good walk?
Comfortable and loose fitting clothing is best for a good walk. Always add layers when it seems a little chilly outside. Use flexible, light weight shoes with a cushioned low heal and roomy toe box for a relaxed, enjoyable walk.
Some do’s and don’ts of walking
- Walk tall, with your chin up (parallel to the ground) focusing 6 meters ahead.
- Maintain a moderate pace. Don’t feel that you must walk so fast that you become to breathless to converse normally
- Don’t over stride or elongate your steps. For extra speed take quicker and shorter steps.
- Swing arms front to back, with elbow close to the body. Avoid swinging your arms from side to side.
- Don’t land flat footed. Roll through each steps and push off with your toes.
Don’t feel obliged to carry weights. These throw off natural walking movements and can strain ligaments and tendons.