Walking Can Help You Reduce Stress

“Dad, I’ve been in an accident.” I’ve received that phone call three times. It happened again a couple months ago. Our daughter, Emma, was making a left turn from a side street onto a busier two lane road. She had a stop sign. Directly across the street was the entrance to a store parking lot.

Emma made sure traffic was clear before starting her left turn. Suddenly another car appeared as she was turning and they crashed. That other car was leaving the parking lot. Thankfully, both vehicles were moving slowly so Emma was not injured. Neither was the other driver.

This happened less than a mile from home.

Each of the three times I’ve answered the phone and heard one of my children tell me they’d just been in an accident they were not far from home.

The first time it happened our son, Noah, was adjusting the radio. He took his eyes off the road and drifted into another lane with a car approaching. Thankfully, that driver was paying attention and swerved to avoid a head on collision.

The second time involved our son, Aaron, who tried passing a car on the left across a double yellow line. He thought they were turning right. Not only were they not turning right, they started turning left.

I got the call from Emma around 7:30am while I was at work. Ironically, part of my job is doing traffic reports on our morning radio show. Understandably, Emma was very upset when I answered. After making sure she was ok I asked if the police had been called. She told me no. I said that needs to happen now so we hung up.

When she called back I tried to calm her down until the police arrived. I then called Ava to let her know what happened and to see if she could get to Emma. The call went right to voice mail.

Meanwhile, Emma was texting me about how her head was hurting and her stomach was upset and she couldn’t believe she was in an accident and she thought it was her fault and how the other guy’s transmission fell out and how she can’t afford this and….and…and…

In between responding to her texts I kept calling Ava and it kept going to voicemail. I was grateful she was still asleep, but Emma really needed someone with her.

Oh…and in between all this I still had traffic reports and weather and regular on-air conversations that I had to be part of. So, I’d duck into the studio for all of that.

Finally, Ava called me back. I told her what happened and she was out the door and with Emma minutes later. That’s when I relaxed a bit, but not before a co-worker asked me if was trying to get my steps.

The entire time I was talking to Emma, answering her texts, trying to reach Ava, and processing everything that was happening I was walking around the lobby of the station and through the conference room. I created a walking loop and just kept doing it…

…without thinking about it or even realize I was doing it.

Walking has become my default activity when I feel stress. As soon as I start moving I calm down. The walking helped me handle what was happening with Emma and still be on the air sounding like nothing was wrong.

It’s not just me either. Research says this is a real thing.


If you don’t have a daily step goal, I want to challenge you to give it a try. Not only will it help you to lower stress, it will also help you create a fitness habit. I call it The 30 Day Fitness Challenge. This free guide will walk you through how to get started. It’s very easy.

If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.


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This blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.

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