As I look at the title it sounds a little too dramatic, but in some sense it is true.
I suffer from some pretty bad stress. Today is particularly bad and 100% of that stress is related to my job! Running a credit department for a decent size community bank is extremely stressful. Balancing between keeping clients happy, lenders happy, management happy, board happy, shareholders happy, depositors happy, regulators happy, is never-ending. Even when you do it all to perfection there is rarely ever a thank you. I jokingly say “Credit people are the Martyrs of Banking”!
I will be happy to share my adventures in “work stress” in more detail, but let’s talk about “walking”. Not a very complicated activity, but for me it has improved my health, my temperament, my relationships, and made drastic improvements to my mental health. This simple act let’s me temper the amount of stress I deal with on a daily basis. It is absolutely a miracle cure if your ask me! I am not going to bore you with a list of the health benefits that you can easily Google yourself. Most people know that exercise has numerous benefits, but I don’t always think walking gets the respect it deserves. Personally I have lost about 25 pounds, with a 2 mile daily walk being the majority of my exercise routine.
My daily routine is usually getting up by 6 AM during the work week and starting my day with a 30 minute walk. Sometimes I listen to music or podcast and sometimes I just listen to the wind rustling through the trees. In general I try to mix it up a bit. The benefit to me is not only starting my day with exercise, but starting my day with the right frame of mind.
When I am upset I will often go for a walk (usually fast pace) or when I want a quiet moment my pace will slow. The simple fact that I get up, get outside, and get moving has major benefits.
Walking has a meditative quality to me. Sometimes I am deep in thought on a problem or listening intently to a podcast, but the act of moving allows me to focus. The stress quite often melts away (mostly, but not always).
Whatever you reason for reading this post or your situation, I encourage you to go for a walk today, even if only for 10 minutes. The benefits come from regular walks, but you have to start somewhere.
That reminds me of another blog to write, my “10 minute rule”. You’ll have to wait for that one.
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