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Walking is great for stress relief

Written by Fiona

February 14 2018

It’s not surprising, well at least not to me, but a new survey has revealed walking as the top way to beat stress. The research by asked 2000 people in the UK about the best activities for reducing stress and this is what they discovered.

Britain’s top 10 stress-reducing activities

Walking is rated by almost half of those asked as a great stress-buster. I couldn’t agree more and if I do not get a daily dog walk or trail run and a longer walk at the weekend I start to feel generally irritated and stressed.

Walking, especially in Scotland, allows me to switch off from the general noise and hassle of the day-to-day and enjoy the peace, tranquillity, challenges and views of our amazing landscape.

Walking is also easy to do and highly accessible, especially thanks to our Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Walk each day for mental health benefits.

Just a short daily walk in daylight has been shown to improve mental health and combat depression. I find that walking and talking combine to make a hike a social occasion with a friend. This has to be a better choice than a chat over a few beers.

In second place in the list is music, used by almost a third of people to distress. In third position is having a bath. Actually, I can think of no better treat after a long walk or run than lying in a warm bath for hours.

Another great outdoors activity, gardening, is in sixth place and then a general suggestion of sport and fitness at in eighth place. Wouldn’t it be great if sport and fitness was at number two in the list?

Being active, such as going to the gym, joining a tennis, running or triathlon club, or learning a new sport, like badminton or swimming are beneficial to both your physical and mental well-being.

Nature is another great stress reliever and I recently found out about a woman who has set up a company to offer forest therapy in Scotland. The theory is that being surrounded by woodland and nature boost mental health.

Meditation and yoga bring up the list in ninth and 10th positions. I really enjoy yoga for switching off after a busy day at the desk and also for the benefits of stretching and flexibility.

Outside the top 10, the next five most popular choices were cooking (8.45%), cleaning/tidying (6.95%), art and craft (6.55%), gaming (5.85%) and driving (3.85%). Dancing, hot showers, and making love were also suggested by some respondents.

Sadly, stress is a major part of many people’s lives in Britain and the cause of illness and disease. The data is stark with four out of five adults feeling stressed in a typical week and one in four students suffering from mental health problems. How to find free counselling.

It seems there is no better time to find a way to remove some stress from our lives. For me, it will always be walking and trail running that are my go-tos…

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