Is walking good for anxiety?

S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
Ask a question

02 April 2021

Is walking good for anxiety?

Walking can have a positive impact on anxiety levels.1 In particular, walking through natural areas, including woodland and parks, has been seen to offer significant benefits to anxiety levels.2 You may also be interested to know that a reduction in anxiety levels can persist after the walk has concluded, provided that regular walking is something that's kept up longer term.3

Long-distance walking can reduce life stress and general well-being4; however, you don't always need go miles to see at least some benefit to your mental health. In fact, in research a short walk of just ten minutes per day, accompanied by meditation, improved mental state.

How does walking help anxiety?

By now I am sure we've all heard about endorphins. These are the chemicals released when we participate in exercise. Endorphins go on to have a positive impact on mood and may help us feel calmer as a result.

Walking also improves anxiety by the very fact it gets us outdoors. We know that spending time here can be very beneficial for mood; plus, calm, nature-filled areas may help to settle some anxiety.5

Thinking more generally, we know that walking can improve anxiety because it gives something else to think about and focus on. It's even a form of meditation, in its own way, as we begin to focus on rhythmically putting one foot in front of the other.

How can I relax while walking?

To help you relax while walking, you could consider listening to some classical, slow-beat music, or even a meditation podcast.

Becoming more attuned to your body as it walks may also be helpful. So, thinking about how your feet hit the ground or the rhythm of your steps.

If walking itself brings anxiety, ask a friend or someone you trust to come along. Their presence may offer a distraction, plus it may bring a little relief just to talk through what you're experiencing.

If you need a little bit of encouragement to get out in the first place, herbal remedies may offer another way of managing your anxiety levels. Emergency Essence may be one to call on in this instance.

Emergency Essence

This combination of the flower essences of Cherry Plum, Sweet Chestnut, Clematis, Yarrow, Orange Hawkweed, Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Bluebells and Impatiens provides support during times of anxiety, alarm and distress. It is useful in any crisis situation such as stress, bereavement, accident or fear.

"Great-seems to calm me down if I feel unsettled by something. I always keep it with me."

Read more customer reviews

Remember, it doesn't have to be a very long walk to start seeing the benefits. If you can walk to the end of the road as a starting point, that's fine! Over time, you may be able to gradually increase your walking distance.


Emergency Essence


£ 3.99

Buy now

Use our Bach Flower Remedy by Jan de Vries, to provide support in times of stress. Available in two …
More info

What's being asked

I have knee pain while I’m running, how can I prevent this?

Knee pain is pretty common while running, but it is also easy to prevent! Check your footfall when ...
Read more >

I have been cycling for several months now and I have developed a pain in my left hip. What could be causing this and how can I fix it?

Hip pain while cycling can occur through over-training or stiffness in the hip joints. Make sure you ...
Read more >

Should I eat breakfast before running?

This depends on the length and intensity of the run, if you are running for under an hour generally ...
Read more >

Did you know?

Peanut butter is a great food to fuel up on before a 5K or 10K because of its low GI, high carbohydrate and high protein content.

What to eat before a 5K or 10K

Recover the right way!

Balance Mineral Drink helps to replace electrolytes and reduce fatigue, making it the perfect post-workout recovery drink!

Learn more

Improve your flexibility!

Join Hetty and Martin in the A.Vogel gardens to improve your flexibility.

View flexibility videos

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Can’t Sleep? Take our sleep test for personalised results in under a minute!