One of the great things I’ve learned during my summer break is how soothing and therapeutic walking can be!
Growing up I was never a girl who really enjoyed contact sports like basketball or soccer. Even now, I will usually forgo a trip to the gym in favor of a Hot Flow class at our town’s local yoga house. With the weather getting warmer however, I craved to do something that would bring me into more exposure with the outdoors. That was when I began taking my afternoon walks. I would usually walk down the streets of my neighborhood while listening to soothing tracks on my iPhone. While I didn’t realize it at the time; these walks were providing amazing therapeutic benefits to me!
Here are a few facts on why walking is so mentally beneficial:
Walking Improves your Memory: Your cognitive performance improves while you are walking because your working memory is better when you are active as opposed to being sedentary.
Walking Improves your Self-Esteem and Mood: In addition to getting all that wonderful Vitamin D, walking in a sunny nature filled environment will help restore your mental energy after a long day. It can also increase your sense of general well-being. Studies have found that people who live in green areas are happier and less stressed. So take advantage of the outdoors while you can and enjoy that beautiful verdure!
Walking Helps Align your Circadian Rhythms: Circadian rhythms are your mental and physical clocks that your follow over a 24 hour cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness and are an important factor in your sleep cycles. That’s why it is especially important to walk during the day because it allows your circadian rhythms to align with your environment. This will allow you to sleep better when it becomes dark.
All of these wonderful benefits are why walking has become my favorite form of exercise. Believe me when I say you will feel a difference even after something as a short 20 minute walk.
So for those who are looking for a gentler way to keep yourself in shape while improving your mood and brain function, then I recommend a peaceful walk. Your body and mind will thank you!
Tara Coughlin is an avid reader, singer, yogi, and film buff. She hopes to major in Psychology at school and loves learning about and helping people to be their best self.
Facebook: Tara Coughlin