It is sometimes easy to buy into the idea that you have to start an intense exercise regimen to achieve positive health results, but in reality, good health can be just a few steps away. At 24, I went through what was basically an intense six-month panic attack. My hormones were completely out of whack, and it took a long time for my body to rebalance. During that stressful and physically uncomfortable time, one of the things that helped more than anything was simply going for daily walks. Getting the sunshine, taking time to be moving, appreciating the outdoors - it was the best strategy I found for beating back the waves of panic.
The research backs up what I discovered during that time. Even just five minutes of physical motion can begin to reduce feelings of anxiety, and moderate exercise is one of the best medicines for anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that people who do not regularly participate in intense exercise, but who have twenty minutes or more of walking in their daily commute still have lower blood pressure, lower rates of obesity, better mental health, and more. Almost anyone can do it, even if you have to go slowly at first for health reasons or if you aren’t used to physical activities. So stop reading, stand up, and go for a quick walk.