Not many know that just a few minutes a day of exercise can go a long way. We lead such busy lives that our physical fitness is ignored.
New studies have shown that walking at least fifteen minutes every day can add seven years to your life. So, if you know you can’t do your regular workout, taking a 15-minute walk on your lunch break or after dinner could get you the same benefits.
Here’s the proof; 3 Harvard study findings that will change your perspective on the benefits of walking.
Among 10,269 male graduates of Harvard College, walking at least nine miles a week was linked to a 22% lower death rate.
Among 44,452 male health professionals, walking at least 30 minutes a day was linked to an 18% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
Among 72,488 female nurses, walking at least three hours a week was linked to a 35% lower risk of heart attack and cardiac death and a 34% lower risk of stroke.
5 Science-Backed Benefits Of Walking Every Day
1. Walking Boosts Your Mood
Walking can literally make you feel good by boosting your mood without even you knowing it. A study published by the American Psychological Association, researchers conducted three experiments on hundreds of college students to find out if they’d experience a positive mood boost while walking, without knowing that walking could be the reason. They found that just 12 minutes of walking resulted in an increase in joviality, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence versus the same time spent sitting.
2. Walking Enhances Creativity
A Stanford study found that walking increased creative inspiration by an average of 60% versus sitting. The effect was evident while and shortly after walking anywhere between five and 16 minutes. The enhancement was specific to type of creativity called “divergent thinking,” defined as a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions.
3. Walking Makes Your Brain Sharper
Even though it may look like simple activity, walking can directly impact your brain activity. According to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, One year of walking increased functional connectivity between aspects of the frontal, posterior, and temporal cortices within the Default Mode Network and a Frontal Executive Network, two brain networks central to brain dysfunction in aging.
4. Walking Improves Your Memory
The best way to walk is to walk at a pace that you’re comfortable with. A German study found that performance on challenging working memory tasks improved for participants allowed to walk at their own steady pace, as opposed to a slower pace set by the researchers. The results were better for the youngest of the study participants, but everyone’s working memory improved.
5. Walking Connects You To Nature
In Japan, there exists a practice called forest bathing where people spend time strolling in the forest just to relax and rejuvenate. This practice has been proved to help people feel better and reduce symptoms of depression. You may not have a forest in next door but a walk in the park will help you get out there and connect with the outdoors. So take 15 minutes out of your busy schedule to walk at a steady pace and try to enjoy the process. That in itself is a great mood-booster.