Researchers are taking a closer look at the benefits of walking to a person’s well-being. One study showed that daily walking an average of 9,800 steps cut their risk of Alzheimer’s in half. It also has many other benefits, so get out and start moving today.
Ways Walking Boosts Mental Health
Numerous studies show walking’s mental health benefits, including:
• Improves memory
• Enhances concentration
• Reduces loneliness
• Decreases anxiety
• Scales down depression
• Helps reduce social isolation
• Eases chronic pain
• Preserves cognitive health
• Lowers stress levels
• Elevates happiness levels
• Lifts affective responses
• Advances environmental interactions
Does Intensity Matter?
As you are aware, you can move at different intensities. The researchers considered low-intensity moving to be taking the dog for a potty break or a slow stroll around the neighborhood where you stopped and talked to several neighbors. They regarded medium-intensity exercise as where you can still carry on a conversation, but your pulse and heart rate goes up a little. Finally, they considered high-intensity movement to be walking so fast as possible without running.
Researchers found that all intensity levels helped people feel better about themselves and their circumstances. They also found that those who walked at a medium-intensity level experienced more benefits than those who walked at a high-or-low-intensity level.
Does Walking With Others Help?
The research also shows that those who walked with others had better mental health than those who walked alone, and those in an organized walking group experienced the best mental health. Therefore, if you want to improve your mental health through walking, consider joining a local group that exercises regularly. One of the reasons for this finding may be that holding each other responsible helps ensure you get out there and move at least twice weekly.
If you have tried walking and are still experiencing mental health issues, we would love to discuss other treatment options with you. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation. Many types of treatment are available depending on your preferences and mental health conditions. We may see you while you are exercising and congratulate you on being proactive about managing your health conditions.