Whether you want to work things out, dream things up, or just feel a little brighter, walking delivers, and fast! As few as 10 minutes can pep you up and make you less tense and tired, according to Iowa State University exercise psychology researcher Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Ph.D. “Those are feelings people pay a lot of money to get via caffeine, energy drinks, and sugary snacks,” he says.
Walking may also act as an antidepressants. One study of nearly 2,000 women with symptoms of depression found walking about 30 minutes a day improved how healthy and energetic they felt.
Want to feel those effects? Here are three ways to tap into the mind-changing powers of a walk:
Make Walking Meditative
Tune in and become aware of every physical detail—the feel of your feet hitting the ground, the swing of your arms, and the sound of your breath— while silently repeating a soothing word like “peace”. This turns walking, even a short trip to your car, into a meditation that helps quiet mental chatter.
Gab and Go
Your favorite people can talk you down or cheer you up, even if you didn’t know you needed it. Plus, social contact is essential for health and longevity. Turn a phone call to a girlfriend into an exercise session—go on a walk while you talk.
A great playlist keeps you in the groove on a long walk. If you're not feeling music, there are also hundreds of different podcasts to choose from.
Stay-safe secret: pick headphones that are designed to let in ambient sounds so you can hear any traffic along with your music or podcast.
What will it take to motivate you to get out and walk for 30 minutes per day?
Article courtesy of Dr. Oz Good Life, Sept. 2016