The simple exercise of putting one foot in front of the other can have a miraculous effect on the mood. According to researchers at the Iowa State University, the activity of walking in itself, regardless of where or how much you walk, can have a tremendous impact on the mood. Here are some interesting facts about walking and how it helps in boosting your mood and mental well-being.
1. Walking Helps Reduce stress
A study that was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) had found that walking outdoors can help reduce stress. The researchers had measured stress levels before and after walking. The study findings suggest that people who walk daily are better able to handle stress and frustrations in life.
2. Calms the Mind
The brain is basically a muscle. Similar to other body parts, it gets fatigued in case of heavy mental work. A study conducted by researchers in Scotland found that a leisurely walk can relax the brain. The researchers had used devices strapped on the heads of participants to measure their brain activity levels. The findings of the study show that mental fatigue results in irritation and frustration. When the individuals take a walk, their brain becomes calm and meditative.
3. Promotes Creative Thoughts
Nietzsche had once told that all great thoughts are conceived by walking. Also, Henry Thoreau had once remarked that the moment that his legs begin to move, his thoughts also begin to flow. Walking has been shown to boost the ability to concentrate, shift between thoughts, recover from mental fatigue, and improve memory. All of this results in a person thinking more creatively. Due to a calm mind, a person is able to make the connection and conceive new ideas.
4. Boosts Happy Hormones
Studies have also shown that any exercise including walking can result in the release of ‘happy’ hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. It also blocks the release of stressful hormones in the body. Walking will uplift your mood and make you feel happy, excited, and less irritable.
5. Walking Can Treat Depression
Daily walking can also cure depression. A study conducted by the researchers at the University of Stirling had found that a brisk walk was found to be an effective intervention against depression. The findings show that walking had similar effects as compared to more vigorous forms of exercise.
Walking is great for your heart and body. Consider walking a mile a day. You should start by walking for 20 minutes every day and then gradually increase the time span. In a matter of days, you will begin feeling a new you who is more contented, happy, and less concerned with the problems in life.