For many of us, the benefits of walking are widely lost during wintertime. That said, now that temperatures have warmed, it’s time to skip the excuses, get outside and get active again. Even if you’ve been using indoor exercise all winter long, there are many advantages to heading outside for your workout that are worth grabbing while you can.
Keep in mind that it won’t be long before you’re using the excuse that it’s too hot to enjoy the benefits of walking. Therefore, the springtime is the perfect opportunity to force yourself to head out and get the job done before you can convince yourself you have a reason not to do it.
What are the Benefits of Walking Outside?
The benefits of walking are extensive. They include both physical and mental health advantages. That said, heading outside and breathing fresh air while you do it will only magnify those benefits.
This isn’t just something your mother told you when you were a child. It has been confirmed by several studies, including one recently completed by a team of researchers at Santa Clara University. They found out that the benefits of walking extend far beyond the physical advantages you already know. You are likely already aware that regular brisk walks contribute to healthy weight management, heart health, diabetes prevention, and several others.
You may even know that the benefits of walking outside contribute to reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, stress reduction and other mental health benefits. That said, this team of researchers found something entirely different and yet just as advantageous.
Research Into the Benefits of Walking
The researchers included 176 college students in their study about the advantages of walking. What they sought to find out was whether “a simple walk might lead to more free-flowing thoughts and more creativity.”
What they determined was that creativity is most certainly one of the benefits of walking. In fact, beyond that, they discovered that those who walk experience a measurably greater level of creativity once they return to their desks than their counterparts who didn’t get up and move around. Though fresh air walks were preferable, as long as participants got up and moved around – outside or on a treadmill inside – when they returned, they were more creative.
This suggests that walking brings about important, complex and beneficial changes within the brain. It only contributes to the long list of studies that promise widespread physical and health benefits of walking.