There are several good reasons to walk and you can also set some goals. How would the familiar 10 000 steps recommendation sound like? In everyday life chores we can mount roughly on average 3000 or 5000 footsteps. If we add on top of that a half an hour’s active walk we can add about 4000 more steps. In total we are already close to those 10 000 steps.
The positive physical and psychological effects are already unquestionable with such an amount.
Walking is a pleasant form of exercise as it is an easy way for us to take ourselves from place to place. However, it is also something that we can do for the simple pleasure of having fun in good company in order to air our minds. You can also calm your nervous system through walking.
Walking is safe even during the coronavirus epidemic as long as you remember to keep in mind the recommended safety distances. Other advantages are that walking is easy and free and suits almost everyone. You do not need to consume too much time either. For instance, it is sufficient to walk in 10-15 minutes’ intervals at different stages of the day. You can walk alone or together and in different environments contexts and ways (while commuting, Nordic walk or in nature).
Walking makes the brain feel better as it needs to be aired from time to time. Especially when one lives in hectic periods of work or studies where the brain is overloaded by information. In order to improve the functioning of the brain it needs to be taken care of in a similar manner as other parts of the body.
Everyday life includes too much indoor time
Outdoor time might only include a walk from the bus stop to the university and then back to home to the apartment. A lack of oxygen might lead to tiredness, headaches and expose us to the temptation of consuming sugary treats which re-energize us temporarily.
A quarter of an hours walk around the block might be sufficient to refresh ourselves and such a walk might lead us to new insights which might not have been possible had we only remained indoors.
Already in ancient times philosophers, such as Aristoteles, often went out for walks when they felt that some new ideas were coming but that it was still difficult to express them. Walking stimulates different parts of the brain when we set in motion our arms and legs. Nature and other visual experiences cheer us up and relaxes the brain for a moment through setting our attention onto other things except our everyday life problems. Our decision-making and problem solving abilities are improved when we go out for walks either alone or with a friend. Especially, when compared to situations where we would have just remained behind the desk. You can remember things better after your walks.
The decision to start moving around more is the best investment you can make for your own future. Are you still thinking about the advantages of a small walk? Watch out! You might become addicted.
Marjo Tossavainen, Outi Mikkola and Ritva-Liisa Hannula FSHS