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Five Reasons Walking Is Incredible for Your Brain

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The next time you need to take the edge off, don’t crack open a beer—tie your shoelaces. There’s compelling evidence from researchers suggesting that walking has positive boosting effects on everything from your mood to your creativity to your memory. Let’s take a look at some of its top health benefits. Walking helps …


Enhance Your Creativity

You’re about 60 percent more creative walking than you are sitting—and for a short time after you’ve finished, according to a Stanford study. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a park, on a beach or in your office, either—the researchers found that it’s the act of walking itself, and not the environment, that gets mental juices flowing.


Restore Your Attention Span

If you live or work in a city, you’re familiar with how hard it can be to find a tree amidst the skyscrapers. Now there’s science to give you a reason to seek out the green: It helps you pay attention in your waking hours, Dr. Faber Taylor, a child environment and behavior researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, told The New York Times. “For so long we have ignored the effect our physical environments have on our ability to pay attention,” Dr. Taylor said. If you feel yourself drifting off during the day, it may be time to snap back into it by taking a literal walk in the park.


Cut Your Alzheimer’s Risk in Half

Whether it’s walking, dancing, or swimming, getting up and moving around is good for your gray matter. Over a period of 10 years, researchers at UCLA evaluated nearly 6,000 older men and women. What they found is important: Those who had healthy brains correlated with physical activity had 50 percent less risk of experiencing memory decline or developing Alzheimer’s five years later.


Strengthen Your Heart

Walking briskly can “lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes,” the American Heart Association points out. All of these issues are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The benefits speak for themselves.


Improve Your Mood

That is, even when you’re feeling lousy, found researchers at Saint Xavier University and Iowa State. In three disguised experiments conducted on hundreds of college students, researchers found that walking for just 12 minutes increased feelings of joy, attentiveness, and self-confidence.

—RealClearLife Staff