By Lisa Matsuda and Louisa Graves     

 Photo by Matt Flores

The Ultimate Stress Reliever: Part 1 1What is fun, free, burns calories, tones your legs, relieves stress, and even animals do it? No, not THAT (That works too!) … It’s walking!

Walking is something we can all do right now to relieve stress, calm our thoughts, and declutter our minds. Walking is deceptively simple and extremely beneficial. It’s a great time to pray, listen to music, or just be in silence. And unlike the gym (which at this time is not recommended due to Corona Virus), the scenery can change depending on where you go. What’s the best part (besides being FREE)? It’s ZERO calories, unlike our favorite feel-good snacks that we reach for when stressed.

Walking is recognized by professionals globally as an important part of holistic living. Clinical psychologist and international speaker DR. Robert Puff and international walking guru Manuela Stoerzer Vogt recommend walking to their clients, which include Fortune 500 executives, tired mothers, and mental health patients. It REALLY works!

Waist Management

What is the most obvious symptom of too much cortisol? Yes, you know it! Added inches around the waist! Cortisol increases glucose in the bloodstream causing fat to accumulate in this not so great area. Do your best to skip the unhealthy snacks that we ALL want when we feel down and out. Nip this cycle in the bud by taking daily walks to lower cortisol and get rid of excess glucose. Your wallet will thank you.

Great Minds Go For Great Walks

Overproduction of cortisol also produces brain fog. You know that feeling you get when you are stressed out at work or home, you have deadlines, issues to solve, kids screaming and no creative ideas or helpful strategies come to mind? You feel completely blocked. Yup, that is cortisol producing the fight-or-flight response. Walking is a great way to fight brain fog, recharge your brain, and rekindle your creativity. Albert Einstein took walks which he claimed help him work out complex problems. Steve Jobs also was a big believer in the power of walking, concentration, and idea generation.

How Much Should I do?

So what is the optimal length and speed your walk should be? 30 minutes a day is the recommended amount, but feel free to do more if you can. A brisk walk is preferred over a slower pace, but please keep in mind your physical abilities. You should have fun on your walk so don’t stress if you can’t do 30 minutes right away. And be sure to keep your mask around your chin so you can move it up and over your mouth and nose when you pass by another walker on your path.

Amp It Up!

Interval walking is good for those who want more intensity. Warm up by walking at a moderate pace for the first 5 minutes. Then walk as fast as you can for 60 seconds. Don’t forget to pump your arms as this helps you burn even more calories! When the 60 seconds has passed, resume your moderate pace for another 5 minutes. Repeat as often as you can for maximum results!

(Excerpts taken from, “Age-Proof: Beauty Alternative You Need to Know”)

For more tips on health and wellness, check out my book, “Age Proof: Beauty Alternatives You Need to Know”. Available as an ebook and paperback.