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6 Ways to Improve Your Day By Taking a Walk

Most people realize that walking has immediate benefits, since they will typically feel better after taking a walk. Regular walking helps keep your weight under control, boosts your immune system, decreases your risk of chronic health problems, and improves your mood. Let’s take a look at some of the immediate benefits of taking a stroll.

1. Sweets become less tempting.

If your sweet tooth is trying to take hold in the middle of the afternoon, try taking a walk. A short 15-minute walk can help rid you of cravings for sugary snacks and junk foods.

A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE discussed how walking can not only distract you from wanting the treat, but the walk can also boost your blood sugar levels and make the brain resist the urge to snack.

2. You’ll be in a better mood.

According to Lona Sandon, RD, a certified fitness instructor and an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas states, “Exercise increases your body’s production of feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which can boost your mood.” The mood-boosting benefits are even greater when you walk outdoors.

A research study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that those who take their walks in nature tended to be happier and feel more joy after the walk than those who were indoors or in an urban environment. If you can’t get away to nature, try walking with a little more bounce in your step. A cheerful gait may help to improve your mood.

3. You will be more creative.

If you are hitting a creativity slump or writer’s block, take a walk. A study conducted at Stanford University showed that people gave 60% more responses to a brain teaser type question while walking, as compared with when they were seated. If you are looking for creative inspiration, try taking a walk.

4. Your energy will be higher.

When you walk, you are increasing the blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body. This helps to improve your energy levels.

A study conducted at the University of Georgia found that a 20-minute stroll could reduce fatigue by at least 65%. If time is a problem, try walking for at least 10 minutes, which can boost your energy levels for up to 2 hours.

5. Your immune system will be stronger.

If you are noticing your co-workers coughing or sneezing, or your children have been recently ill, taking a walk can help.

David Nieman, director of the human performance lab at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, states, “Moderate exercise, such as walking, improves the immune response.” Nieman has found through research that those who walk at least 4 times per week use about 50% less sick time as their sedentary co-workers.

6. You will increase your productivity.

Even when you are having a hectic day, try to make time for a stroll in the middle of your day. It can be very tempting to sit at your desk and eat your lunch, but, research has shown that a 30-minute walk during your lunch break can help prevent the all-too-common afternoon sluggish feelings that many people experience.

Research has shown that employees who take a quick walk at lunch tended to be more enthusiastic and less irritable in the office setting compared to those who remained sitting at their desks all day.

With all of the long term and short term benefits of taking a walk on a regular basis, you should be convinced of how important it is! Make sure that you find the time to get out for a walk several times per week to improve your health and your mood!