• Rich Taylor

How Walking Can Help You Lose Weight and Stress Part: 3

Updated: Jan 25

Has anyone told you to take a hike! Maybe they had the right idea. Studies have shown that exercise or positive movement reduces stress hormone production, makes people feel happier, and allows them to feel more creative because they access the non-stressed part of the brain. Which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate, boosts the immune system, healing from illness faster, and eliminates unwanted body weight.

A 20-30 minute walk in nature can dramatically lower your stress and increase your metabolism.


The goal of the Stress Free Diet is to keep you from being stressed, allowing you to not be in a stress response. Those stressed will cause their bodies to crave and even scream at them to consume carbs, sweets, caffeine, treats, etc.


That is why 95% of diets fail. I heard a statistic that said that 95% of most people are not consuming enough fiber in their diet. That makes sense because stressed people are not reaching for a Kale salad loaded with healthy veggies.


When we are stressed, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline puts the pep in your step, and cortisol floods the blood with glucose so your large muscles can access it for energy, and it inhibits the release of insulin. Insulin's job is to put power into the body's cells. But cortisol says no way, Jose; I need it to meet the threat.


So what happens if your boss is yelling at you and you do not have to exert yourself by fighting off a bear.


That is why exercise is one of the best ways to burn off excess adrenaline and cortisol. When we sweat, the adrenaline comes out of our body, reducing the cortisol levels.


Speaking of exercise, we have a different word for it. The word exercise is in itself a stressful-sounding word. And working out is not any better. Who wants to go "work" more after working all day. That is why we refer to it as Positive Movement because it produces healthy hormones. Endorphins are the body's natural painkillers. They trigger a positive feeling similar to morphine. Try doing some form of Positive Movement after you wake up.


You do not have to sign up and go to the gym. You can go for a walk outside if the weather allows it. Or simply walking around inside your house. If you want to add some resistance, walk up your stairs if you home have them. Even going up and down your front steps can be a good exercise. Or put on some bogy music and dance. Studies show that a 20–30-minute walk in nature can dramatically lower your stress levels.


What is Forest Bathing?


It is from the Japanese, shinrin-yoku. Shinrin means forest, and yoku means bath. Studies have shown that it reduces stress hormone production, makes people feel happier, and allows them to feel more creative because they access the non-stressed part of the brain. Which results in lower blood pressure and heart rate, boost the immune system, and heal from illness faster.


Need motivation? Take a friend along. Having someone to walk with can make it more interesting, and the time seems to fly by. For example, I often walk with my neighbor Susan.


You may be asking how to get the extra 20-30 minutes a day to fit in this Positive Movement? You may not have the time right away, but after being on the Stress Free Diet for a couple of days, you will sleep better and wake up earlier with more energy. This improvement will allow for extra time.


Still can't fit Positive Movement into your day?


I rarely took the elevator in all the office buildings I have worked in over the years. I would not just take the stairs, but run up them, often two steps at a time. I would park farther away from the building, forcing me to walk farther. I would personally get up from my office and meet with people in person to get some Positive Movement in. If you are in a place where most people will not see you (this may look goofy), you can skip instead of walking. Most of us did this as kids; it takes more effort to skip than walk.


Another benefit of Positive Movement is that not only does it help us deplete stress hormones, but it can help increase our metabolism.


Many people think the only way to lose weight is to burn it off by an insane amount of "working out." Only if you have enormous energy will power, which most people do not. The approach of the Stress Free Diet is based on lowering your stress levels so your mind and body will be in alignment, giving you the vitality you were designed to have. The Positive Movement part of the Stress Free Diet is only about 10%. The other 90% is made up of other diet and lifestyle changes.


Try to incorporate some time moving outside breathing fresh air for a new perspective on your journey to a Stress Free Life.



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