Sport is good for your health, as you already know. But did you know that practising physical activity also boosts your mood?
This article was originally published here.
Discover the stress-busting effects of active walking. Now is the perfect time to take a second look at this most comprehensive of sports!
1. Active walking for reducing stress
At home, at work, in society: problems tend to pile up, generating stress levels that are difficult to manage.
Regularly practising a gentle activity such as active walking initially gives you distance from those problems.
Many active walkers agree on the benefits of this sport in their daily lives.
This is certainly the case for Pauline, digital communications manager, who practises active walking in her lunch break: "When I go walking, it is a real moment to relax, a great chance to switch off my brain from my work. I get lungfuls of fresh air, recharge my batteries and feel de-stressed for the rest of the day!".
This view is shared by Emmanuel Lassalle, cross country walker and fan of solitary walks: "This sport gives the mind and body a good airing. I think about lots of things when I walk, and manage to resolve certain problems in my life. I love my long walks. It's a chance to get some real 'me time'. Sometimes, I don't even feel like I'm doing sport!"
2. How active walking can help you to fight stress
When you practise active walking, you blood is better oxygenated. This additional boost of oxygen generates a feeling of well-being which benefits you during and also after your active walking sessions.
During the session, your body will produce up to 5 times more endorphins than at rest: endorphins are also known as "happy hormones!"They are a source of well being for your mind, helping you to think positively and preventing the blues associated with an overload of stress.
Yes, however... To benefit from these boosts, you need to sustain the effort for at least 30 minutes in the endurance zone. Which is lucky, because this zone is also the same one in which you burn the most calories!
3. Our tips for stress-free walking
The right posture for optimising the stress-busting effects of active walking
1 – Your movements should be relaxed
The first signs of stress often appear in the shoulders and back. To eliminate tension affecting these zones, make wide, relaxed movements, especially with the arms.
2 – Smile!
By relaxing the muscles of your face and smiling, you will gain more enjoyment from your walk. Give it a go, it works!
3 – Have a bit of 'me time'!
Plan out some pleasant walks, far from traffic (noise, pollution). For a session of active walking to boost your well-being, it's best to practice 2 to 3 times per week rather than cram it all in at the weekend!
How about you? Do you feel the stress-busting effects of active walking? Share your experience!