Argentine poet and musician Miguel Cantilo said, “I know that by covering my eyes I can be very far away without taking a step forward.” Unfortunately, those who follow this teaching will never have access to the scientific and psychological benefits of walking.
Humor for that matter, let’s focus on the essentials. Walking is more than just a pleasant activity. No wonder, then, that its benefits are also very positive. There have been many scientific studies on the subject, and the verdict is unanimous: walks have great physical and psychological benefits.
Scientific and psychological benefits of walking
The first benefit of walking is probably that it really is a pleasant activity. Even a short walk can uplift the mind, as it is a low-paced, aerobic exercise that offers at its best a moment of peace in the middle of a busy day.
The benefits of walking are by no means limited to that. Walking is the best way to enjoy the outdoors and develop physical health that goes hand in hand with our spiritual side. According to a study from the University of Tennessee, women who walked every day had less body fat than women who stayed more in place. Walking women had a significantly better quality of life, as well as lower risk of blood clots.
Other benefits include…
It helps you sleep better
Walking helps the body release serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter derived from the amino acid tryptophan, which increases melatonin production. Melatonin regulates our sleeping process, so walks are ideally easier to fall asleep faster and for a better quality of sleep.
Serotonin also acts as a great stress reliever. It’s not a bad idea to go for a walk when the mind feels restless and anxious. In fact, a study at the University of Sao Paulo showed that walking and other forms of aerobic exercise have significantly improved the sleep of people with insomnia.
It improves the mind
Do you want to be happier and in a better mood all day? According to the University of California, walking not only releases serotonin but also endorphins. The combination of the two is the most ideal blend. These substances are commonly known as happiness chemicals, so they are guaranteed to make you feel happier.
It raises life expectancy
The University of Michigan School of Medicine notes that people between the ages of 50 and 60 reduced their chances of dying over the next eight years by as much as 35 percent just because of walking. I don’t know about you, but for many, this is sure to give you peace of mind!
It reduces and prevents cognitive impairment
According to a study by the University of San Francisco, the more you walk, the slower your mental capacity shrinks with age. More specifically, in a study involving 5,000 people aged 65 or older, a 3-kilometer walk daily reduced memory loss by 17 percent.
It prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a dreaded disease that, unfortunately, is already threatening young people. With the treatments currently available, its progression is unstoppable, but it seems that traces of prevention methods have nevertheless been traced. One preventative is exercise. A study at the University of Virginia found that those in their 70s who walked at least half a mile a day reduced the onset of Alzheimer’s by 50 percent.
It helps to drop or maintain a healthy weight
Like it or not, we live in a world where appearance matters. For many people, staying in line and a good outer shell make you feel safe and confident. And not just because we would please others, but because we would look and feel better.
It is clear that because walking is an aerobic exercise, it also shapes our physical nature at the same time. As a moderate exercise, it reduces body impact and the risk of injury. Therefore, walking is a perfect exercise for people who experience joint pain or other abnormal conditions.
In addition, it is a physical activity that helps burn fat. In fact, the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reports that women who walk more than 5 hours a week have significantly less body fat.
It reduces stress
We have already mentioned that walks release serotonin and endorphins, known as the chemicals of happiness. Logically, walking is therefore the best way to reduce stress. According to the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, walking reduces the amount of cortisol hormone associated with stress and anxiety.
Science has confirmed that walking really has huge scientific and psychological benefits. However, starting the activity itself can from time to time require a lot of willpower, especially during the winter months, when a warm blanket would certainly attract more of a walk shaded by a bitter frost. However, walking brings a lot of good. For example, if you don’t find any motivation to go out, you can try going out with your pet or friend, for example. Don’t forget that with a little you can achieve a lot.