National Take a Walk in the Park Day: How Walking Helps You Decompress

Life moves pretty fast.  Sometimes too fast – transforming our daily routines into a throng of chaotic demands that leave us feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and wondering if we will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a light, but you may have to do a little bit of walking to reach it.
We all know that walking can help us burn unwanted calories and reduce our risk of developing heart disease.  But, did you know that walking can also significantly reduce your stress hormone levels?

Here’s how.
That’s right nature.  There’s a spoofed prescription drug commercial about nature that has been shared on several social networks.  Professing nature as the cure-all for what ails you, the commercial is witty, and in some cases very true, as a number of studies have concluded that spending time in nature has been linked to reducing stress and improving memory.  So the next time you start feeling weighed down by what life is throwing at you, lace up your hiking shoes and head out to an Upstate New York park for a brisk walk and a good dose of nature. 
Walking among the lush greenery of a state park preservecan actually help us to detach from the daily pressures we encounter by shifting our brains into a meditative state.  You can boost the benefit even more by incorporating wellness programs like walking meditation.
According to WebMD, when we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins.  These endorphins change how we perceive pain.  They also act as a natural, non-addictive sedative.  Regular exercise like walking or yoga classes, although underestimated, is an effective treatment for warding off stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression.
Have you ever found yourself desperately ransacking your co-worker’s office in search a candy bar or some other sugar laden snack to get you through the afternoon slump?  Well, the next time you think about reaching for those empty calories take a walk instead.  According to Jasmine Rodriguez, Supervisor at The Spa at Honor’s Haven Resort, “individuals who take regular 20-minute walks not only experience a boost in energy but also encounter a reduction in fatigue.”

 How will you be celebrating National Take a Walk in the Park Day?  Will you be spending it in the Catskills? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @honors_haven.