Walking is beneficial
for the body
- Psychologists from Iowa University have shown
how walking can crate positive moods through three tests.
They tested the mood of people who took a gentle stroll, people who remained
seated, people who walked under pressure and people who walked on the
- The results showed that even a 12 minute walk
, in terms of physical
health as well as emotional health. Be it cardiovascular health or to lift your
spirits, walking has always been the number 1
contender for a must do activity. Most people complain of being unable to take
the required time away from their daily routine to go for a walk. A new study
now shows that walking for as little as 12 minutes a day could do wonders for
The rush of hormones, the flush of good health
and the expansion of the lungs are all good signs that most people look out for
while on a walk. However, not many people get to go for a relaxed walk every day; this could be due to the
pressures of the day or the tightly packed schedules that prevent taking time
out for a walk.
‘Walking daily for 12 minutes will keep you happy every day.’
There's some good news from the researchers at
Iowa State University, psychologists Jeffrey Miller and Zlatan Krizan have
shown that a
walk as short as 12 minutes can be
and Mood Enhancement
Exercise has always
been associated with an enhancement of the mood
Previous studies have shown how exercising with the sole purpose of improving
the mood can provide immense benefits.
Walking has been found to have similar benefits.
The psychologists from Iowa University explain the benefits of
and mood improvement to
the goal seeking behavior of early hunter gatherers. Movement or walking was
always associated with a search for food, a quest that resulted in a reward.
This is probably why walking generates an elevation of the mood through
Activity in the Brain
The psychologists concur that 'wanting',
anticipation of something that could occur in the future results in the release
of dopamine in the body. It helps in keeping the body motivated to continue the
pursuit till the end goal or result is reached. 'Liking' is an emotion that is
associated with appreciation of an event or object in the present. This results
in the release of opoid activity in the brain.
The process of walking is a situation similar to
'wanting' where there is a continuous quest in anticipation of something. This
results in elevation of the mood.
Dr. Jeffrey Miller and Dr. Zlatan Krizan said
"movement not only causes increased positive affect [emotional feelings] ... but
movement partially embodies, or in a sense reflects, positive affect."
for Positive feelings
There were three studies that were conducted to
evaluate the effect of walking on positive feeling. In the first study, one
group of the study participants were asked to take a stroll around the campus
while the other group of participants were made to sit and browse photos or
watch videos. This part of the study found that participants who went on a
stroll showed the effect of joy, vigor and self-assurance while the study
participants who remained seated showed poor attentiveness and mood.
In the second study, the study participants were
made to walk with an added pressure of having to write about their walking
experience. The results showed that even with the added burden of having to
write an essay at the end of the walk, the study participants showed better
The third part of the study tested the effect of
walking on the study participants by eliminating certain other factors
associated with a positive attitude like sunshine and talking to other people
on the way. The participants were made to walk on a treadmill and they
continued to display a positive behavior after their walk.
Away Your Blues
Walking not only boosts energy levels but it also
helps in coping with stress and difficult moments in life. In a previous study
by a group of researchers from the University of Michigan, walking was found to
aid in coping with a difficult event in life, like a death or loss of a job.
Though walking on a treadmill indoors has also
been found to bring about positivity, it is better to walk amongst nature when
the sun shines brightly and there are exciting scenes to look out for. Taking a
friend along can add to the experience.
A 12 minute walk is a good start to more extensive
exercises, after all, no matter how unhappy you are walking out, you will feel
much better after your walk. Take a stroll, take positive control.