An article titled “Healthy Steps” by Kevin Sykes, from Occupational Health, discusses the health benefits of walking. Results of studies conducted worldwide show that walking can improve mental well-being, help reduce stress, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce body fat, and more. Furthermore, aerobic exercise is strongly associated with reduced mortality rates for both older and younger adults. The article states that in Europe, they are trying to increase more walking among the children and workers, to increase their performance and mood.
The article goes on to say that regular exercise is one of the best physical stress-reduction techniques available. It helps relax tense muscles and it helps you sleep. Exercise speeds up the flow of blood through the brain and causes the release of endorphins, which give off a feeling of happiness and well-being. The best way to achieve an increase in positive mood appears to be through moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking. High intensity exercise often leads to an increase in tension anxiety and fatigue.
Also, if the intensity exercise is too low, less mood modification occurs. Walking has also been shown to improve self-esteem, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood. Walking, particularly in pleasant surroundings and
with other people, offers many opportunities for relaxation and social contact. Just a 30-minute brisk walk on most days of the week will do wonders to your health and well-being. Another article that discusses how walking reduces stress is, “Walk on the Wild Side” by Mary Claire Mason, from Nursing Standard. The article starts off by saying that a doctor named William Bird, discovered that when his patients walked outdoors, it lowered their blood pressure, they lost weight, and it reduced the need for diabetes medication.
With the help of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Dr. Bird started the ‘green gym’, where people improved their fitness by working outdoors with others. It was a way for people to get more active, de-stress, and to combat depression. A study found that those who lived longer and had less cardiovascular disease had greater access to green space. It was found that walking outdoors was better than walking indoors. When they entered the green space, their blood pressure and muscle tension dropped within two minutes. Nature calms people down, just looking at pictures of plants were found to make an impact on peoples blood pressure. Just taking a walk through nature could do wonders for people.
In my opinion the first article really helped me understand how walking helps relieve stress. I liked how it said that going for a brisk walk is one of the best prescriptions a doctor could recommend for reducing anxiety. Furthermore, I found it interesting that employers and schools were promoting walking, just to get a better attitude and a better job from the employees and students. The second article did not focus on walking too much. It mainly concentrated on the effect that nature has on the human brain. I did find it interesting that peoples stress went down more walking outside, through nature, then it did inside. I also liked how the doctor told his patients to go walking, and it actually did help them.
The information from both of these articles can really help improve a person’s stress level. The first article tells us that reducing ones stress is just as simple as taking a 30-minute brisk walk. In addition to that, the article also says that just by walking a person can reduce their risk of many health problems, and he or she can also lose weight by walking. The second article, about the nature walks, also states that just by walking through nature a person can reduce their levels of stress. From both of these article people can learn that just by walking they are helping themselves stay both physically and mentally fit.
Works Cited Mason, Mary Claire. “Walk on the Wild Side.” Nursing Standard 23.42 (2009): 20-22. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Oct. 2013. Sykes, Kevin. “Healthy Steps.” Occupational Health 61.9 (2009): 40-43. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.