Do you find yourself sitting at your desk responding to endless emails? Do you find yourself sitting in important meetings and making critical decisions? Do you have a stressful job? At your last meeting, did one of your coworkers say, “Take a hike.” Should you take a hike?

If you have a stressful job, and you don’t get much of a chance to be active throughout the day, it might be a good idea to take a walk, not necessarily a hike. A walking break helps to relieve stress.

Instead of a coffee break, go on a walking break. Instead of sitting around during break eating junk food, smoking cigarettes, or talking smart, go for a walk. Take a couple of laps around the building or down the hall to relieve the stress and anxiety of your fast-paced career.

Maybe over lunch you can invite along someone you need to talk to about a stressful topic or conflict situation. Walking together will relieve the stress, burn up the adrenaline and blood sugars caused by the stress response, and give you time to respond rather than react.

It works at home, too. Take walking breaks with your family. Don’t stink up the dining room table with conflict. Go for a walk and talk about family struggles. Wave at your neighbors, pet their dog, and dodge some cars. This will give you time to reflect and respond kindly. Protect the dining room table for positive family exchanges rather than conflict situations.

I always feel better when I get outside and get some fresh air. You might, too. Stress can build up throughout the day. It is a good idea to relieve the stress occasionally and make sure you perform at your best. Going for a quick walk a couple of times during the day can revitalize you physically and psychologically, and your coworkers, friends, and family members will appreciate it.

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