When your emotional well-being is in need of a "tune up," follow this simple rule for feeling better: take more walks.
A strong body of research suggests that walking and other forms of regular exercise can turn the dial way down on depression, stress, and anxiety.
Midlife Mood Improvement
That's exactly what an 8-year study of pre- and postmenopausal women showed. Premenopausal women who exercised 3 to 7.5 hours per week reported lower levels of stress compared to women who exercised just over an hour per week. Two additional benefits seen in postmenopausal women on the high end of that exercise scale: less depression and anxiety compared to their less inactive counterparts. Feel good and look good.
And exercise can take the "blue" out of your mood regardless of your gender or age, according to other research. It's all thanks to those wonderful little feel-good brain chemicals your body produces when you exercise. So, lace up your walking shoes -- and also give these other mood modifiers a try: