3 Ways Walking Can Immediately Improve Your Mindset
August 25, 2021
The human mind is the most complex structure that we have ever observed in the natural world. It is an organ that researchers study constantly, and yet we still have only the faintest of ideas about how it functions under a variety of situations. Despite this, we know a few things about how stress impacts the mind and mental health, and what we can do about it. In today's world of constant stress and bombardment from various stimuli, we know that turning down the stress levels is probably the best thing that a person can do for themselves.
Literally Grow Your Brain Through Walking
It might sound like science fiction, but researchers have actually found that regular walking can actually grow regions of your brain responsible for decision-making and emotional regulation. The American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) reported excitedly on these findings recently:
Researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise appears to increase the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for memory. And the benefits can be pretty immediate. A University of Maryland study of people ages 55 to 85, for instance, showed that a single session of exercise increased activation in the brain circuits associated with memory.
It is rare in medical science for any given activity to have such an immediate and relevant impact like this. This means that walking may be one of the best and most accessible things that you can do for your health on a daily basis. You just need to get out there and start walking to make it happen.
Improved Mood Through Better Blood Circulation
Improvements in mood have been noted by regular walkers for centuries. You have probably heard of someone going for a walk to "clear their mind". What they appear to be referring to in that instance is the fact that walking does indeed seem to improve the circulation of blood throughout the body while helps to stimulate regions of the brain that control our moods according to the National Institutes Of Health. Those regions may have been neglected in the past and not had the proper circulation of blood, but a little touch of regular walking can get them back into fighting form.
Lowered blood pressure from walking also means that stress more easily leaves the body. As an added bonus, those who walk outdoors get to have some fresh air enter their bodies as well rather than the recycled and filtered air that they are accustomed to via indoor spaces. Re-oxygenating the blood with fresh air might serve to improve their moods as well. Additionally, walking can become a social exercise in which friends and family are brought along to join in. This helps strengthen social bonds which in turn improves life satisfaction.
Better Sleep For A Better You
Finally, it should never be overlooked that regular walking helps improve quality of sleep. The body runs on a circadian rhythm that requires maintenance to keep strong. One of the best ways to keep that rhythm intact is to get plenty of natural sunlight. Many of us spend an increasing amount of our day indoors and do not see the sun nearly as much as we should. Walking outdoors means that we get to embrace more of that natural sunlight.
Psychology Today reports that being in outdoor spaces makes it easier to regulate our sleep patterns which in turn makes it even easier to get out and exercise the next day. It is a cycle like this that can easily help a person work on their mental and physical health without excessive strain on their life or the need to completely change how they go about their day. Just add a little walking to your day and watch the benefits stack up.