Walking for Brain Health

It is scientifically proven that our mental abilities and memory capacity are being depleted after we hit our thirties. Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? However, there is a simple activity that can change this state of affairs.

Have you ever wondered why you happen to feel more invigorated, concentrated, and ready to act after a small walk? Walking has long been considered not just a beneficial physical activity for your body but also a good way to stimulate your brain.

A positive physical effect that walking imposes on our bodies is quite obvious: it keeps our muscles up, improves blood circulation, and helps prevent heart diseases. But the recent research has shown the immense beneficial influence of this simple action on our mental capabilities.

As you may know, the process of walking requires more oxygen consumption. Even walking at a modest pace raises our heartbeat and makes us inhale more deeply. Deep inhaling allows more O2 to enter the vessels. The flow in the latter improves when the heart beats at a faster rate, and more fresh air reaches your cerebral area.

However, a recent study suggests that blood flow to the brain is controlled by more than simply our hearts. Scientists from New Mexico studied a group of adolescent boys and found a correlation between strolling and blood flow.

The results have shown that when we engage in this activity, our feet generate a special wave that causes blood to come upwards. This motion has enough power to force this red substance up to our vessels and, therefore, increases the oxygen’s presence in our brain. Several other sport-related experiments have been conducted examining the impact of running and cycling. The relatively similar results show that it’s the impact of the step that makes the blood flow.

Enriching our brains with more oxygen is undeniably beneficial. As our main processor consumes over 20% of the total oxygen supply, the lack of it can create barriers to understanding new information and lead to decreased productivity. Furthermore, because blood arteries make up nearly a third of the brain, it’s no surprise that adequate blood flow is critical for brain well-being. Boosted blood circulation has been related to improved mental performance and general protection against aging.

Another positive point is that the aim of taking long walks is achievable almost to anyone. You don’t have to stress yourself with running and other tiresome activities. A simple walk once a day will be more than enough to start enhancing your general and mental well-being.

To achieve faster results, you can use a fitness tracker or pedometer. Start with small numbers. Set a goal of 5,000 steps per day. When you are comfortable with this load, you can start gradually increasing it to larger amounts. By doing so on a regular basis, you will not just improve your physical abilities but also give your brain more oxygen, resulting in enhanced productivity.

Walking brings benefits to our lives. So why not engage in this easy process to become a better version of yourself? Get your sneakers on and go for a walk!

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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