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Daily Walks and Brain Health

— April 8, 2019

It’s always a good idea to take care of ourselves. After all, our bodies are the only ones we have. But, what about our brains? Something as simple as taking a walk can work wonders for brain health.

A lot of people are aware that walking is very good and productive for their physical health, but they know nothing about its immense mental health benefits. Walking greatly boosts brain health, improves thinking, helps the mood and sharpens the memory. It’s funny and amazing how something as simple as walking could be of such immense benefit. Here are some ways that walking greatly enhances and safeguards mental health.

It improves your mood

Science has shown that spending time to walk can transform a dull mood into a lively one. In a study, researchers asked people to take walks for other reasons, while their mood changes were monitored and tracked. They noticed that after some time of walking, there was an increased level of joviality and liveliness in the individuals. In fact, such people showed increase in confidence and attentiveness.

The reason behind this is that; walking releases endorphin into the brain. Endorphin is a chemical that reduces and limits sensitivity to pain, as well as stress, while generally causing a euphoric feeling. This affects the mood positively.

It enhances your memory 

This is another very important effect of daily walks on the brain. If you want to improve your general ability to recall and memorize, then start walking regularly.  Science shows that the performance of individuals on powerful memory tasks generally increases when they are allowed to walk.

A professor who also specializes in custom essay writings advised walking as a way to help memorize essay contents.  As a history student, you might want to start taking walks before you begin cramming your historical names and dates.

Little girl wearing red shorts, black top, and straw hat walking; image by Miguel R. Perez, via
Little girl wearing red shorts, black top, and straw hat walking; image by Miguel R. Perez, via

It aids creativity

Now, this is a very personal experience for me whenever I have to write my essay, and science has also confirmed it with numerous studies. One of such studies is a Stanford study which highlighted that both Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg were known for walking meetings. It went further to state that creative thinking improves marginally when walking and immediately after.

The study points out that what actually increases the ability to think creatively is not the environment, but the very act of walking itself. The next time you have a problem that is proving impossible to solve, take a walk, you just might find a solution while you do so.

It aids protein production in the brain 

One very important protein for the brain is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, well known as BDNF. This protein is important and vital for cognitive functioning as well as neuronal growth, development and survival. Science has stated that walking for a moderate length of time at a fair and moderately intense pace helps to increase the production of this protein in the brain, especially for individuals who have suffered from stroke. To put it very simply, every time you walk quickly and extensively, you are helping your brain produce a super important protein at an increased rate.

It helps to relieve stress

One of the key issues that affect the mental health of an individual is the issue of stress. A lot of stress reduces ability to think, remember and overall effectiveness. Walking is one way to deal with stress and relieve the pressure on the brain.

Apart from relieving stress, walking can also serve as a means of reducing how often we get stressed altogether. A study shows that low- intensity exercises such as walking, increases the level of energy by 20%and reduces fatigue level by 65%. Are you stressed? Take a walk. You want to stop getting stressed so quickly and often? Take walks.

It improves connectivity in the brain

This is another magical benefit of walking. It improves communication and connection among brain cells and neurons. In a research study conducted on a group of older adults, researchers discovered that one year of walking seriously aided the connectivity between two parts of the brain network that are associated with brain dysfunction in aging.

It increases blood flow in the brain 

Blood flow is very essential to life as it affects virtually every cell in the body. Taking walks regularly increases the amount of blood that flows into the brain and this is essential and pivotal to the health of any organ in the body. Increase in cerebral blood flow means that there will be an increase in the nutrients as well as an increase in the toxins that are taken away from the brain.

Get your shoes, lace them and go for a walk. It is pivotal to your sanity, your productivity, your memory and your creativity. Your daily schedule should no longer contain only hitting the gym but also taking a walk. Whether you are doing it intentionally or not, walking improves your brain health.

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