Exercise has fantastic benefits for your mind and body. You don’t have to push yourself to your limits to see results, either. Simple exercises can have monumental results when it comes to reducing anxiety. Besides reducing anxiety, exercise can be beneficial in reducing stress and fatigue, while improving cognitive functioning. Exercise can be so beneficial because of the endorphins that are released during physical activities. Here are two different walking exercises you can use to reduce your anxiety. Keep in mind your mindfulness tools when you are walking. They will keep you in the present moment and focused on your exercise.
The “starting simple” walk
This low-intensity walk is good for beginners who are not used to vigorous exercise. You can use this walk to still get results, while not pushing yourself too hard.
- Start by walking at a comfortable pace for 10 minutes. Do this 3 days during the first week.
- For the second week, slightly raise the intensity. Do this for 15 minutes, 4 days a week.
- During the third week, raise the intensity a bit more. Walk for 20 minutes per day for 5 days.
- During the fourth week, raise the intensity one last little bit. Walk for 30 minutes for 5 days. Continue this walk — 30 minutes for 5 days — to keep seeing results.
The “keep it steady” walk
This walk is a slightly higher intensity because of the duration of the walk. This gets a bit of cardio in because you are walking briskly for a longer period of time.
- Warm-up by lightly walking for two to three minutes. This gets your body limbered up and ready for the cardio walk you’re about to do.
- Ramp up your walk to a moderate level of intensity. This is cardio work, so it shouldn’t be just a light walk in the park. Work on your cardio for 15 minutes. Once you are more comfortable with the 15 minutes, you can increase your workout by 5 minutes. Try to get up to 30, or even 60, minutes of cardio work.
- Cool-down by lightly walking for two to three minutes. This should be the same level of intensity as your warm-up walk. This helps to slow down your heart rate and body.
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