GOOD NEWS ABOUT WALKING!

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IT SHARPENS YOUR BRAIN

Walking for exercise may become increasingly important as we age and our risk for dementia and other brain disorders increases. It can even help reverse the effects of aging. One study published in the Annals of Neurology found that the 69 participants ages 55–88 who who met the exercise guidelines set by the American Heart Association showed a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.


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You're More energetic

A recent study by a Southern California university professor shows that the more people walk each day, the more energetic they feel and the better their mood.

"People seem to be interested in walking as a health benefit, but here, we're seeing it's not just cardiovascular health and other kinds of physical health that are important, but psychological health as well," explained Robert Thayer, a professor of psychology at California State University, Long Beach. "The more a person walks has a very real and immediate psychological effect that an individual can experience every day."


IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. 

Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. 

City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.


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A ONE-HOUR WALK THREE TIMES A Week

Exercise may bolster the brain function and thinking skills of people with dementia, according to a new report. The study’s findings suggest that walking a few times per week might alter the trajectory of the disease and improve the physical well-being of people who develop a common form of age-related memory loss that otherwise has few treatments.

The study looked at vascular cognitive impairment, the second most frequent form of dementia worldwide, after the better-known Alzheimer’s disease. The condition arises when someone’s blood vessels become damaged and blood no longer flows well to the brain. It is often associated with high blood pressure and heart disease.


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WALKING HELPS YOU THINK BETTER

What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connectionsbetween brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.