In fact, the simple act of walking – whether a swift stride to the shops, a leisurely stroll through the park, or a brisk power-walk round the block – can have a huge impact on both our mental and physical wellbeing. Fantastic news!
There are of course the obvious benefits – such as helping us lose weight, improving circulation, and boosting vitamin D. But there are also those not-so-obvious ones, and we’ve put together a list of just a few of these for you. Did you know that walking…?
- Makes Us Happy | one of the major benefits of walking is stress relief as the act of physical exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine in the body – a chemical which moderates the brain’s response to stress. Studies¹ have shown that a brisk walk can be just as effective in mild and moderate cases of depression as antidepressants – with only positive side-effects 🙂
- Increases Productivity | employees who regularly exercise are said to be far more productive and have much more energy than their more sedentary counterparts. Not only that, but 12noon is apparently the optimum time of the day to reap the benefits so, if you fancy surviving the midday slump, be sure to take that lunchtime stroll. Some organisations even run dedicated walking clubs at break times – great for relieving those work tensions, enhancing relationships with colleagues, and boosting afternoon outputs!
- Prevents Dementia | walking, like all forms of physical exercise, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degradation of the hippocampus – a vital part of the brain for memory and learning. Researchers² have found that walking for just 20 minutes a day boosts memory and improves overall brain function
We’re working on our very own The Hidden Benefits of Walking guide which we’d love to share with you 🙂 If you’d like to put your name down to receive a guide once finalised, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Walking and we’ll ping you one of the very first copies!
And finally, in the words of American poet and essayist, Gary Snyder… “Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves!
¹ Harvard Medical School
² Journal of Alzheimer’s disease
³ Cambridge University