Smiling african american woman walking

Ever have one of those days?

You know…like Groundhog  Day for weatherman Phil Connors (played by Bill Murray). Everything seems to go wrong from the moment he wakes up.

It’s a recipe for feeling stressed out, unhappy, frustrated, and even depressed.

How do you get yourself out of a funk like that?
Phil had to relive the same day over and over, until he figured it out. But there’s an easier way to change your perspective, improve your mood, and feel happier.

Go for a walk. That’s it. Put on your shoes. Walk out the door or step on a treadmill and go.
Wait, what? You’re already balking at the idea or stressed out about it because you’re short on time?

Stop right there. Research suggests that a brisk 10-minute walk is enough to improve your mood and mental health.1 Just about everybody can spare 10 minutes.

9 mental health benefits of walking

If you have a little more time than just a 10-minute window, aim for walking 30 to 60 minutes a day. You don’t even have to do it all at once. Research shows that walking can improve your mental health in a variety of ways, including:2,3

  1. Reduce depression
  2. Slow cognitive decline
  3. Lower risk of dementia
  4. Reduce anxiety
  5. Improve decision making
  6. Quicken reaction time
  7. Lower stress
  8. Improve self-esteem
  9. Boost creativity

Make walking part of your daily routine
If you want to improve your mood, feel happier, and manage stress better, make walking part of your daily routine. For example:

  • Go for a walk when you wake up in the morning.
  • Fit a walk break into your work day.
  • Instead of sitting around during a meeting, talk business while you walk
  • Plan an evening walk after dinner.

Create a walking plan that fits your schedule and your life
If you need a little help, use a digital tracking device or mobile app to track your daily steps. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day. Invite others to walk with you, or host a walking or steps challenge to create accountability and improve motivation.

You’ll be healthier and happier.

All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other, and repeat.

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