Get out and walk. Enjoy the joy of the combined benefit of the powerful healing forces of nature- air, water, earth, and sunlight. Walking for mental health benefits is safe, effective, and cost-effective.
Harnessing the Power of Walking for Improved Mental Health
Lifts Mood | Relieve Anxiety and Stress | The alertness of Mind | Sleep Better | Improved Self Esteem | Risk Reduction of Dementia
Empower yourself with this natural gift of walking to acquire crucial mental health benefits (1).
A healthy mind is our most important possession as humans. The current culture is responsible in many ways for the deterioration of the mind with these unwelcomed companions—
- heavy corporate workload to stay upbeat at the workplace,
- a sedentary lifestyle,
- poverty due to the inflationary pressure worldwide
- Indoor culture- working from home saves money for the company by eliminating office space
- financial stress
- and isolation due to heavy involvement in social media are some underlying causes of an impaired mind. Most of us are victims of an unhealthy mind at some point.
Is walking a simple yet powerful antidote? How?
“The Earth, air, water, and sunlight collaborate harmoniously to enhance your mental well-being.” providing a smoother flow and a touch of elegance.
Walking every day regularly can help our mental wellbeing (2). You don’t need the expensive gym to enroll; hire a trainer and drive there. No special attire or shoes are necessary. Ayurveda recommends walking barefoot. The earth neutralizes your body, having health-destructive free radicals.
Merging walk into your daily routine can be a simple, soft, yet powerful act to accomplish excellent health. Regular brisk walking for 30 minutes daily can offer many health benefits. If you don’t have a continuous 30 minutes, then you can replace it with 3 of 10 minutes’ walk for health benefits.
A healthy body inspires a Healthy mind and is a platform for significant mental health.
Walking in Sunlight Elevates Mood.
The sunlight stimulates the retina of your eyes and produces the hormones serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin improves mood and makes you happy. The sun is the most potent source of life. The other two are air and mother earth (3). Imagine some dark winter days and how your mood and mind feel while you desperately wait for the summer. People who starve in sunlight due to their geographic location have a higher suicide rate.
Sunlight produces vitamin D and indirectly increases the serotonin level (the happy hormone)
Caution! Take care of your skin while walking in sunlight to avoid sunburn or sunstroke.
Thirty minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking three days a week, can benefit your health. Moreover, these 30 minutes need not be continuous; three 10-minute walks are believed to be equally valid as one 30-minute walk.
Walking Improves Mental Health and Relieves Anxiety and Stress.
The above-mentioned hormones, dopamine, and serotonin (the “feeling good hormones”), reduce negativity from your mind. It removes your mind from brooding over weakness and reduces stress and anxiety.
Vitamin D works as an anti-depressant in your body. Adding vitamin D to conventional anti-depressant agents can improve the anti-depressive effect compared to placebo, per a research review (4).
So, taking a few minutes of walking around noon during Vitamin-D production can immensely benefit your health. Sunlight is free. So, use it sensibly to help your mental and overall health (5).
The Alertness of Mind: Walking in the morning makes you feel energetic after a night of inactivity on the bed. It makes you active in enhancing alertness in your mind. Alertness helps you react to a situation wisely and builds confidence over time.
Sleep Better: Supported by research and tested by many, walking makes you sleep better. Adequate sleep helps to have a calm mind, ensures a good day, prevents you from becoming grouchy, and improves your overall performance.
Improved Self-esteem: Regular walking protects and strengthens your heart, elevates your mood, makes you feel upbeat, and increases blood flow and oxygen amount in the blood. Walking triggers the release of endorphins. This hormone is responsible for making you feel good overall. This good feeling helps boost your self-esteem.
Walking Improves Brain Functions
Walking increases the amount of grey matter in the brain, which is related to better brain health, (2010-Journal of Neurology).
A clinical trial of older adults in Japan (2015-Journal of the American Geriatrics Society) participated in a prescribed 12-week walk-exercise and found
· Greater improvement in memory
· Increased ability to pay focused attention
· Improvement in switching various tasks in daily routine compared to a control group
Researchers at New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU, 2017) found that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase blood supply to the brain.
Risk-reduction of Dementia (6).
Dementia is a group of symptoms that impacts memory and thus make it difficult for your daily task to be done correctly and reliably. Slow and decreased walking speed can increase dementia, affecting the ability to reason and judge. In a research study analysis with 9949 participants, the decrement of walking speed by 360 miles/h increased the risk of inertia by 13%.
In a study involving 7501 Chinese adults, regularly exercised people had lower odds of developing dementia than those who did not exercise regularly. (7)
Always one looks for the best. Is there a place where one may realize the most benefit from walking?
Is There a Preferred Place to Walk?
Walking on Sunshine
Research shows growing evidence of mental health benefits, though more studies must be done to complete the survey to provide individual proof (8).
Walk Around a Negative Ion Environment
Nature exposure and walking may have additive beneficial effects on mental health (9).
To swap your mind, relax by a river, over a mountain, or near a beach. The negative ions in air and water help neutralize the positive ions and radicals from your body and mind. It fills you with freshness, clarity, and positive thoughts. It soothes a depressed mind. Plan a vacation or a weekly getaway while keeping the hostile ion environment in mind.
Just Walk- How to Shine Light in Dark Winter?
Walk slowly and deliberately in your preferred space. Create an opportunity to walk.
It may be walking from your car or from around a shopping mall.
- Do your chores as a way to walk and walk around the house. Have filtered, clean air from outside refresh your home. Have your thermostat fan on.
- Eat food with Vitamin D and/or supplement with D3 available OTC recommended by your physician.
- Are you missing the light?
Stepping inside the house or on the treadmill during winter
- Instill walking as an essential exercise into your vibe. Supplement your life always with a healthy diet.
- Walking is consistently underestimated as a mind-boosting exercise. Now you know the vast package of benefits it comes with.
- It elevates your mood; you rest better at night and empowers your mind to relieve anxiety and depression. Walking enhances your overall brain health. These combined brisk movements help you get a healthy body that helps your mind.
Be sure to follow my Pinterest and join to make your living healthier. https://healthhelmet.com