Anxiety can make life feel overwhelming. Whether you’ve always felt this way or are going through a difficult time, it’s important to remember that there are ways to help yourself feel better. Studies show that walking can lower your stress response and increase the amount of happiness-boosting hormones in your brain. A single stroll can offer you the time you need to sort through your thoughts—or the comfort and distraction that comes from being with supportive friends. With everything that you have to gain from walking, don’t you owe it to yourself to give it a try? With Prevention’s Walk Away Anxiety, you can do just that.
FEEL BETTER FAST
Walk Away Anxiety
YOU’RE NOT ALONE • Anxiety affects nearly one out of five American adults. If you’re struggling, it’s important to know that there are ways—including walking—to help yourself cope.
WALKING CAN BE POWERFUL MEDICINE • Walking regularly is not only good for your physical health, but it also has a positive effect on your mental health. That’s because the activity releases feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine that help stave off anxiety.
YOUR 7-DAY WALKING PLAN
START WITH AN EASY WALK • As with any activity, the first step is often the hardest to take. Rather than jumping straight into your week with a difficult workout, take this first day to gather the motivation you need and get going with an uncomplicated, light stroll.
TRY A MEDITATIVE WALK • Meditation can actually teach you how to recognize anxiety-inducing thoughts, observe them, and then let them go. Adding walking to the mix gives your mind a positive distraction as you work through your worries.
STRETCH OUT STRESS • Doing gentle stretches or yoga poses after your walks or on your off days are great for relieving physical tension in the body—and providing you with a moment to pause in your day, evaluate what’s making you anxious, and (hopefully) let it go.
FIND A WALKING SUPPORT GROUP • Like group therapy, group walks allow you to air out a problem with supportive listeners. Walking with a friend or a team can also give you the accountability you need to keep up the habit.
PRACTICE SOME SELF-CARE • When you have anxiety, it can be so easy to slip back into difficult thought patterns and behaviors. But a few tweaks to your routine can help you focus on the good vibes you get from walking instead.
STEP OUTSIDE • Spending time in nature is key for maintaining a sense of calm and balance in your life. Research shows that just being in close proximity to natural green space is associated with reduced anxiety and depression symptoms.
MASTER THE SNACK PACK • We see you, sunset chasers! Sunup-to-sundown hikes require proper fuel: carbs for energy, protein for strength, and electrolytes for hydration. It’s all here… Enjoy the perfect spread with these must-haves.
HIKES THAT STOLE OUR HEARTS…
CHOOSE THE BEST FUEL FOR YOUR BODY • Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can cause or exacerbate symptoms of anxiety—especially sweating, shaking, irritability, and heart palpitations—not to mention ruin your walks. But these anxiety-easing eats will keep you relaxed and satisfied.
PET PROJECT • Research shows that pets or therapy animals can help decrease feelings of anxiety. Here’s why you should choose a furry companion to be your new walking buddy.