Does Walking Boost Serotonin?

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that keeps you healthy, happy, and disease-free. Research says that there are ways to increase serotonin in individuals with low serotonin levels. Does walking boost serotonin?

Yes, walking boosts serotonin levels. When you walk, your brain releases an essential amino acid called tryptophan in the blood. Later, tryptophan is converted into serotonin in the brain, which is released into the bloodstream. Only ten percent of total serotonin is produced in the brain, the rest is found in the cells lining your gastrointestinal tract.

How much do I need to walk every day?

30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week is considered a good amount by experts. You can walk more if you have the time, energy, and will to, especially if your goal is to lose weight. 

Busy individuals who work corporate jobs prefer to walk on weekends. Walking two days a week can be great if you can up the amount you are out there. 

There are step-counter wearable devices available on the market that are fairly accurate. You can wear them on your wrist, or around the neck. You can also try out smartphone apps that count steps, and keep a track of your workouts. 

If you are someone who struggles to get out of the couch— due to laziness or fatigue— you should be content with whatever distance you can achieve. Some people have observed a great improvement in their mood and emotions after walking as little as 10 minutes a day.

I suggest you walk with an erect posture. Slouching to slumping while walking can be detrimental to your health. Leaning forward or backward while walking can lead to lower back pain. It is always good to walk with an erect spine, relaxed shoulders, and chin up.

If you are injured, you can always use assistive devices for mobility. There are devices available out there that will enable you to go out on your two feet. Spending time outside by yourself can help you maintain an independent spirit. 

What are the signs of low serotonin levels in the body?

Following are the signs and symptoms of low serotonin levels:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Forgetfulness
  • Schizophrenia
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

What’s the best way to walk in order to stimulate serotonin?

The more intensely you move, the more your lungs work to provide oxygen to different parts of the body. Hence, a brisk walk is more efficient than a regular walk, especially for people who spend less than 15 minutes a day walking. 

You don’t have to worry about body movement and intensity if you are a good athlete, and can easily walk 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

Furthermore, instead of walking on a busy street, experts recommend that you walk in nature. A public park is a great place to walk— this is if you live in a bustling city. The terpenes (aromatic compounds) released by plants trigger the release of serotonin in the brain. 

In addition to this, you must make sure that you head out for a walk when there is enough sunlight present. Do not walk early in the morning (before sunrise) or after dark. 

I know that most people prefer to walk early in the morning, but someone low in serotonin needs sunlight. Ideally, you should walk during the golden hours— just after sunrise, or just before sunset. 

Your body needs vitamin D coming from the sun. As you walk each day, you will notice an improvement in your mood— which is a sign that your serotonin levels are back to normal. 


Walking 30 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week is the best way to boost serotonin. Most people will begin to see positive results after about 2 weeks of regular walking. To speed up the process, you can try changing your diet. Add high-protein foods to your diet. Foods such as turkey, chicken, salmon, cheese, yogurt, milk, and tofu are scientifically proven to stimulate serotonin.

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