As many studies have shown throughout time, exercise is not only good for our bodies but it’s also good for our brains.
‘Big Brains’ throughout history have known the benefits of exercise.
Scientist and Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie loved to cycle. She spent her honeymoon with her husband cycling and touring through France.
During his imprisonment on Robben Island for 27 years, Nelson Mandela kept up his physical and mental strength by maintaining the daily fitness of a boxer. Even after being released in 1988, he kept up with a daily routine of 100 push-ups, 200 sit-ups and running on the spot for 45 minutes. Mandela said, “I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg loves to walk. He says he walks not only to exercise but he also uses it as an opportunity to discuss business with potential recruits and fellow entrepreneurs.
I’m not a big fan of cycling, sit-ups or push-ups but I can certainly walk. In fact, I’ve walked over an hour every day for the past 20 years.
Between 20-70 percent of Americans do not exercise at all, so walking would seem like a natural way to ease into movement. Why do so many of us overlook walking as a form of exercise? Is it because it’s easy? I’ve got to admit, that’s why I started walking.
Over and over, studies have proven that there is a link between healthy physical activity and healthy mental activity, mindfulness and well-being. This is especially the case if you are taking a nature walk versus walking in the gym or the mall.
A Stanford study scanned the brains of two groups of walkers following 90-minute walks. The group that took a nature walk had far fewer negative thoughts and feelings over the group who walked beside a busy route.
A regular walking routine can not only help you lose weight but also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and assist in the fight against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
A recent Harvard medical study showed that by walking 22 minutes a day twice a week, you can lower your risk of heart disease by 30 percent! The study also stated that walking is probably the best form of exercise to combat heart disease and other health issues. On top of it, you don’t even have to walk 22 minutes in a row. You can walk 11 minutes in the morning and 11 minutes at night. How easy is that?
Walking can improve your cognitive skills, including memory.
According to a report from Journal Neurology, walking can increase your grey matter. Research at the University of Virginia indicates that walking can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Walking is weight bearing so it also helps to increase your bone density.
Walking strengthens bones, joints and muscles. Leg and abdominal muscles also get a workout. If you are swinging your arms or using walking sticks, you can also give your arms and chest a good workout, too.
Walking can help you sleep.
According to a study done by the Arthritis Foundation, women between the ages of 50-75 who walked one hour in the morning slept better at night that those who did not walk.
Walking can improve your relationships.
A participant who said that his marriage was on the brink of divorce noted that things changed for the better when his wife started to accompany him on walks.
They started to communicate in a way that they had never done before.
Are you a nosy neighbor? Recent crime statistics have shown that neighborhoods that have ‘walkers’ tend to have less criminal activity as a result.
Whatever your reason for walking, I highly recommend it. Personally, it may have started out of vanity but in the process, it also saved my sanity!
On that note, please folks, I’m begging you – laugh long and prosper!