When anxiety and depression strike, grab your shoes. Here’s why.

Your body is made for motion. Like water, when stagnant it becomes a breeding ground for disease. So stir the waters of your life and begin exercising! Regular exercise enhances neurotransmitter production and helps to lower stress hormone levels. Stress events charge our muscles for activity, so naturally, activity is needed to dissipate epinephrine, cortisol and other stress hormones from the body. Exercise also promotes weight loss, decreases over-appetite, slows the ageing process, increases bone strength, improves sleep, makes you feel energized… The list goes on and on. Many people would like all of these benefits, but wonder where to start. A gym membership? A personal trainer? A book or video? Well, here’s a different idea.

One of the very best exercises you can do is brisk walking. The only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. A good rule is to walk fast enough so that you can’t sing, but slow enough so that you can talk. Avoid high vehicle-traffic areas – both for safety and for air quality. You can start slower and work your way up; a good routine is 30 minutes three or four times a week. If you have any health issues, tell your doctor about your plan before you start.

A brisk walk several times a week is one of the best things you can do to beat stress, anxiety and depression.

If you were to ask me the single most effective way to improve your health and lower stress, regular exercise is it. Seriously. The best part is, your follow-up relaxation sessions will be even more effective when your body is working well. Your senses will be more responsive and your relaxation sessions will be deeper and more rewarding.

Work hard, play hard, relax hard!




Author: Colin Stone

Professional Relaxation Therapist (MASC, BSYA) and founder of The Healing Yurt in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Using guided imagery, therapeutic music and aromatherapy to relieve stress in the most relaxing room on earth!