We often hear the statement “go for walk” after expressing negative feelings, and the majority of us simply dismiss this statement without another thought. However, Doctors (and our Mothers) have been recommending it for years. So, let’s take a deeper look into the statement we’ve been hearing for years because, how good can walking really be for you?
After doing some research, it is clear there are three main reasons going for a walk is good for you: it’s great for the environment and it helps improve your mental and physical health. Take a look for yourself…
It’s great for your wellbeing and mental health
- A 10-minute walk can have a major impact on your energy, mood and mental alertness.
- If you suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or wish to reduce the risk of developing SAD, the more sunlight you’re exposed to, the better.
- Walking can release feel-good endorphins that serve as painkillers.
- Exercise increases the chemicals dopamine and serotonin (known ‘feel-good’ chemicals) but it also decreases stress hormone.
- It increases focus and promotes mindfulness.
It’s a great way to keep up with your physical health
- Regular exercise and any physical activity can reduce stress, anxiety and increase your self-esteem.
- Walking helps increase blood flow and blood circulation to your body and your brain. Increased levels of oxygenated blood encourage people to feel energised.
- It improves cognitive function, memory and sleep.
- People who are exposed to greater amounts of daylight fall asleep quicker and are less likely to wake up throughout the night.
- Walking helps regulate our circadian rhythm (the body’s natural 24-hour cycle)>
It’s good for the environment
- Switching to walking for our shorter journeys, like a trip to the doctors or school, helps to project biodiversity.
- More people walking will create a quieter environment. This provides benefits for both us humans and animals.
- It creates less air pollution and reduces our emissions (from cars) that are currently warming the atmosphere.
- An estimated 3 trips of 1km a week walking instead of driving can decrease the amount of emissions by roughly 43kg a year.
So, as it turns out, walking does do more than getting you from place A to place B. Not only is it good for your health in multiple ways, it also helps the planet and other creatures that live in it. It’s safe to say (and hard to admit) that our Mothers and Doctors were right to tell us to “go for a walk”.
P.S. Walking is also free! So even our bank accounts will be happy.