There’s nothing quite like a walk on a cool, sunny day to make yourself feel refreshed, relaxed and ready to take on the next big challenge. But what specifically does taking a walk for 20 or 30 minutes do for us?
Here are 8 research-backed reasons to stand up and walk around for your breaks throughout the day.
1. Enhanced Creativity
Taking a walk allows your creative mind to move more freely, instead of remaining sedentary and just hoping it will kick into gear. Greater levels of creativity from walking have even been demonstrated in a 2014 study from Stanford University, highlighting that a person’s creative ability increased by an average of 60% while out for a stroll!
2. Keep Your Youth
Walking may actually make you look younger! A study published by Oncotarget aimed to highlight this and observed that those who maintained consistent physical excercise tended to have greater telomere length. Shrinking telomere length contributes to cell deterioration, so, those who get their 30 minutes of low-impact excercise from walking might keep a little more of their youth.
3. Grows Your Brain
Researchers have found that taking a walk increases blood flow to the brain, along with several studies showing increased reaction time and memory during tests with people who had done light aerobic excercise beforehand vs. those who stared at pictures.
4. Keeps You Calm
In the last few years, scientists have observed that while mice are active, “soothing neurons” in the brain are triggered. This and research from Professor Elizabeth Gould at Princeton found that being physically active actually reorganizes the brain in a way that anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal function.
5. Walking Helps You Lose Weight
This one may be a given, but walking just 1 mile per day can burn 100 calories and help preserve lean muscle mass.
6. Reduce Inflammation
While inflammation is an important bodily process for fighting wounds and other ailments, it can also cause serious health problems when prolonged. That’s where walking comes in, study finds. Just 20 minutes a day of walking can reduce the amount of immune cells involved with the body’s inflammatory response by 5%!
7. Better Digestion
Take that post-lunch walk! Researchers have found that a brisk walk for 15 minutes after eating will improve daily blood sugar levels more so than walking for 45 minutes once in the morning.
8. Fresh Air
Who doesn’t love some good old fresh air? Maybe that’s an oxymoron, but there are so many benefits to getting fresh air in every day that there’s no reason not to go for a stroll during, before or after work