When it comes to movement, no amount is too little. A quick, 15-minute walk around the block can even have a number of surprising health benefits.
If you need some more convincing, see if reading about these six things that happen when you walk inspires you to head outside for a stroll.
A Stanford study found that walking increases creativity. Compared to sitting, walking in any form boosted creativity by an average of 60 percent among the study participants. The effects were noticeable even if the person sat down at a desk right after their walk, too.
If you’re facing a creative roadblock, take a walk to clear your mind and make room for new ideas.
Even a short walk can have a big impact on your overall mood.
According to Jeff Miller, Ph.D, a researcher on the subject, walking, “will almost certainly result in increased feelings of pleasant energy. And that’s true whether you expect this to occur or not.”
If nothing else, go for a walk just because it makes you feel good!
Walking can also enhance cognitive performance. One study tested how children and young adults performed on working memory tasks while walking on a treadmill. When they were allowed to walk as fast or as slow as they wanted, both groups performed their tasks better while walking.
Moving around helps loosen tight muscles and limbs and gets your blood pumping. You might notice decreased lower back pain and less hip tightness, for starters.
You’ll also improve the way you walk and your overall balance as your muscles get stronger, especially if it’s been a while since you walked around regularly. It’s amazing how accustomed we can become to sedentary lifestyles, and small changes make a big difference.
Speaking of sitting, do you know how much time you spend sitting in the car, at a desk, on the couch, and elsewhere every day? You’ll be shocked by how many hours you spend sitting.
It might come as a surprise that a simple walk can have such a positive impact on health, but it just shows that you don’t always need to commit to an intense fitness routine to reap the benefits of being active.