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Walking Club: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Walking Club: The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Posted at 5:33 AM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 18:26:35-04

Many of us are looking for ways to remain active while also staying a safe distance away from others. That's why Sarah Phinney started a ‘Walking Club’ to highlight some hidden, and some not so hidden, trails and parks across Tampa Bay.

Getting in your daily workout does more than just reduce the risk of disease and improve your cardiovascular health, it can also help you feel better mentally.

Holly Murphy, Senior Wellness Educator at Tampa General Hospital, says studies have shown that physical activity can decrease the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression.

You may even notice that your focus at work has sharpened.

“More productive, more creative and our immune response is enhanced, which is really key now,” said Murphy.

Murphy recommends getting 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity most days of the week. It doesn’t matter what! Just do something you enjoy.

“The awesome news is that it doesn’t have to be done at the same time,” said Murphy. “You can break it up in five, 10 minutes or two 15 minute bouts.”

She says those short spurts give your brain a boost and help you refocus.

Murphy says there are additional benefits associated with getting exercise outside, but the most important thing is to just get moving.

“My bottom line is, do whatever you can, whenever you can, it’s just the fact that you show up,” she said.

Join Walking Club!

Post photos of your adventures, ask questions and learn about upcoming Walking Club stories in Sarah’s Walking Club group on Facebook!

You can also keep up with Sarah on Instagram and Twitter