We all walk. But few people walk enough.
Walking has many benefits – it builds muscles, protects and repairs body organs, aids digestion, and keeps the brain fresh and prevents aging.
In addition to this, walking increases the creativity of people’s thoughts, improves mood and helps reduce stress.
Neuroscientist Professor Shane O’Mara outlines some of the benefits of walking. He studied neuroscience at Trinity College, Dublin.
1. The brain is active
Being inactive means less muscle strength in the body. But more importantly, the brain begins to wither and die as a result. When we walk, the molecules produced in the muscles help keep our brain active.
Among them, a special molecule helps blood flow to the brain. As a result our brain cells develop. As a result, walking makes the brain stronger.
2. Heart is good
Walking is very beneficial for heart health. Our ancestors, who lived by hunting, walked 15 to 17 miles a day.
“Their hearts were really much better than the hearts of people today,” says Shane O’Mara.
In the jungles of South America there is a tribe called Simane whose heart of an 80-year-old man works like the heart of a 50-year-old American. This is because they are active throughout the day.
3. Helps in digestion
Walking also acts as a friend to the human digestive system. “When people walk a lot, their food digests more,” says Shane.
“If you go for a walk without taking constipation medicine, that’s great. You can get rid of digestive problems very easily.”
4. Helps in problem solving
It is scientifically proven that walking increases our creativity. This also makes solving many problems easier.
“When you’re thinking about something, instead of sitting in one place and getting frustrated, taking a short walk can help solve the problem.”
“We have learned from many great writers, philosophers and mathematicians how they found solutions to many complex problems while walking.”
An example is the novelist Stephen King. He goes out for walks regularly and walks a lot.
Philosopher and writer Bertrand Russell also jotted down many of his thoughts on a small piece of paper when he went out for a walk.
And later he used these to compose great prose.
5. Helps to overcome depression
According to neuroscientist Shane O’Mara, depression is associated with sitting.
“A recent study showed that depression is more common among inactive people. Simply put, the more active you are, the better.
Blood flow problems are also thought to cause depression.
“If you walk a lot, if there are problems with blood flow, they decrease. It decreases dramatically,” he said.
In some cases, walking acts as a kind of vaccine. Helps reduce depression.
6. Helps to be more open minded and extroverted
One theory says that each of us has a number of personality traits that are related to being active. Such as frankness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness etc.
Experiments have shown that people who are inactive are less open-minded, less extroverted, and have more neurotic problems.
On the contrary, if you look at an active person, you will find that these things do not work much in them. They do not get sick easily.
7. Helps in metabolism
The food we consume is converted into various forms of energy. Walking helps in this transformation process.
Studies have shown that even a small amount of activity throughout the day is more beneficial than going to the gym.
Many people consider going to the gym too big. After spending the whole day lying down, they think that they will be healthy by doing gym in that one hour.
In fact, such exercise may encourage people to remain inactive.
“Because the body then starts saying you’ve done your job, so you can sit down, eat. Then the metabolism actually slows down.”
8. Helps to maintain body structure
There are many of us who have to work all day in a chair, sofa or car.
This can lead to pain in the body, especially the back.
“The human body isn’t built to stay in one position all day. It’s bad for you.
Getting up from the chair and taking a regular walk can relieve you from back pain.