Sometimes all you really need to fix your problems is a nice, pleasant walk.
Do you ever find your mind wrestling over something and all it does is stress you out, but then you decide to go for a short 15-20 minute walk at a park, beach, or just around town, and you come back feeling infinitely better?
That’s the power of walking, and a lot of new research shows that walking can have numerous benefits on both our physical and mental health.
In one recent study published in the The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers divided individuals into two groups.
One group was designated to walk around a track 3 times a week, while the other group was told to do less aerobic exercises, like yoga and resistance training.
It was found that the group that did the periodic walking showed a 2% increase in their hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. The other groups didn’t show any benefit.
This is consistent with other studies that show walking can actually improve performance on memory tasks and overall brain functioning.
Walking is a simple and beneficial exercise that we rarely make the time for. But when we do, it can have a significant impact on our health and psychology.
Another positive thing about walking is that it can induce daydreaming, which can be a useful tool for creativity and problem-solving.
Sometimes the best thing we can do to figure out a problem in our life is to walk away from it for a bit. Literally.
This gives our mind time to wander off and take a break from trying to force ourselves to find the answer directly, and often while walking and daydreaming we allow answers and insights to spring from our unconscious without effort.
Whenever I find myself really stressed out or frustrated, I go for a walk to help get my mind in order. While it may not always solve my problems, it almost always makes me feel just a bit better.
For me, walking provides an opportunity to slow down and put everything into perspective.
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