Do You Let Life Get You Down? Here is a One Shot Remedy!
Finally! Days are getting a bit longer and warmer every day. We are still in the season though, when many people get down in the dumps. So many people do so that this effect has its own medical classification. (Seasonal Effective Disorder or SAD) We have already talked about SAD in detail in 10 Foods to Improve Your Mood.
I wanted to share with you a one shot remedy for this – or any other depressing problem. It’s a simple technique that anyone can employ – WALKING.
A 2006 study found that just one bout of exercise; a brisk 30 minute walk immediately improved the mood of depressed individuals. Studies have also shown that walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases. They live longer and enjoy improved mental health and spiritual benefits.
I like what a friend, Lynn Fraser, The Practical Life Balance Expert, calls these strolls with her dog – BRAIN WALKS!
Are you walking enough? Tips on Walking
The 1996 Surgeon General’s report, Physical Activity and Health, recommended “a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity of moderate intensity on most, if not all, days of the week.” In terms of walking that means: 1. Walk at least 30 minutes. 2. Walk often: at least 4 times per week 3. Walk faster: 3.5 mph or faster (5.6 kph)
More Tips on Walking:
Listen to your body. Don’t overdo it (heavy breathing or heart rate)
Best posture is back upright, shoulders relaxed & slightly back, tummy in.
Eyes ahead of you at least 20 feet.
Hands should be loose and swinging. Don’t clench.
At first it is enough just to get moving. Later when you are walking longer you can include stretching and cooling down.
This is a great time to practice deep breathing.
Why Stop at Just One Walk:
90% of the people who exercise regularly do so during the morning. If you were to choose one time to be successful at sticking to routine, this would be it. Studies have also shown though, that just one period of exercise and then the rest of the day laying on the coach is not optimal.
The body was NOT meant to stay still. It relies on movement for optimal circulation. When the body is still toxins build up in the tissues and cause acidity and contribute to many of the modern illnesses.
Any movement is good but moving outside is even better for you. All that natural light, and fresh air and energy makes all the difference. If a friend comes to visit why just sit around? If you walk together , you will have a much livelier conversation. You can also apply this to small business meetings. Plan ahead and your head will thank you. I may be crazy (you can comment below) but I have a LEAST 4 walks per day! I don’t go 30 minutes each time but it fits in with my schedule to do many short walks because I work at home so every couple hours I take a walk or two around the block. The total time is much more than ½ hour and I walk fast. It feels so good to have the body moving and it’s great to be outside; even if it is -20 C.
My mind and body is refreshed to tackle new problems or assignments. Walking outside is very different from an exercise class or a gym. Outside there is the sky, the sun, the moon, and sometime even the stars. It puts so much of our lives in a different perspective.