Take A Walk: How Being A Pedestrian Can Improve Your Mood
If you’ve been feeling a bit down lately, you might just need a incorporate a relaxing walk into your daily routine to improve your mood. Not only is walking a healthy, free and convenient way for getting around, it’s also been show to positively impact mental health.
The last thing you want after a stressful day at work is being stuck in traffic, getting even more stressed out. Walking can provide a great alternative means of transportation if you live near your work. If you can’t get to work walking, try to fit in a walk sometime during your day. You could go for a walk during your lunch break, before you head off to work, or just after you get home. Let’s look at why taking a walk is so great for your mental health.
Walking Relieves Stress
After a difficult day, going for a walk can help give your mind some rest. Getting away from the busyness of daily life is often necessary to be able to clear your mind and get rid of bad thoughts. It can also give you some time to think about your problems clearly and come up with good solutions.
Research has indicated that walking may improve your brain‘s functioning. A study done on people over 60 found that the subjects’ thinking capacity significantly improved after a slow 45-minute walk.
Walking May Prevent Depression
Walking doesn’t only relieve the stress you are currently experiencing, but may also have a long term beneficial effect on your mental health. Studies show that walking strengthens the brain’s nerve cells and stimulates the growth of connections between nerve cells, especially in parts of the brain that antidepressant medications target.
Walking May Prevent Dementia
A recent study indicates that a daily walk may significantly decrease the risk of getting dementia. Dementia is a very common brain disease among the elder for which there is no real cure. A daily walk can help keep your mind sharp and prevent mental decline later in life.
Walking Improves Your Overall Health
A daily walk can have numerous positive health effects such as helping you lose weight (if necessary), improve your hearth health and reduce your risk of diabetes. Since many physical diseases have been linked with the development of mental health problems, if you keep your body healthy, you’ll be less likely to suffer from depression and other mental health diseases.
When you go for a walk, try to walk in a natural setting if possible. Research shows that taking a walk somewhere surrounded by nature has a much better effect on your mood than walking around in a busy city center. Even in big cities it shouldn’t be too hard to find a park where you can take a peaceful walk while surrounded by trees and plants. Make sure to always be careful as a pedestrian, especially if you are walking along busy streets. Pedestrian accidents happen often and can have severe consequences.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Colley and Colley, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane tries to walk often.