Walking has grown in popularity since the start of the pandemic, as it offers us ways to get out of the house when working from home and is how we can catch up with friends when we can’t invite them over. Besides these and other obvious health benefits, walking has other advantages too, some of which may be surprising when it comes to this low intensity activity. Here are 3 benefits of walking to think about the next time you go out for a casual stroll.
1. Improve Mental Health
One of the biggest benefits to walking is that it can improve your mental health. Walking reduces depression, anxiety, and an overall negative mood. 30 minutes per day of walking is ideal, but if you’re unable to walk for 30 minutes straight, then try to do it in 10-minute intervals.
2. Provide More Energy
This may seem counterintuitive – I mean, walking is exercise, so it should make you tired, right? Walking provides you with a boost of energy because oxygen increases in the body – which helps with brain function – and raises hormones related to energy levels. I can attest that walking to give you energy really works. Whenever I’m working on a deadline – which usually means I forget to exercise – and find myself losing energy, going for a walk provides me with the energy to finish my goal for the day to eventually meet that deadline.
3. Increase Creative Thinking
A 2014 study found that participants who walked came up with more ideas than those who sat down. Walking outside increased these new thoughts more than walking inside, as well. Getting out of your home or work space and going for a walk helps to allow you to think freely. The next time you find yourself stuck on a problem, try brainstorming by going for a walk by yourself or with others – you may discover the exact solution you’ve been looking for.
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