SFH #102: Why I want to spend the rest of my life walking

The benefits are soooo good!

We are uniquely human in that we walk. I like to take advantage of the science behind this evolutionary gift. Just yesterday, I put on comfortable slip-ons from AllBirds, got on my phone, and started strolling through Southeast Portland to get the healthy juices flowing. I spent two hours on the phone and two hours walking. It was in the high 80s here, yet well worth the effort. My brain felt fresh, my body felt at ease, and my mood was grooving. I was feeling stagnant just before my walk, so I knew that if I leaned into the science, it would be, as Hippocrates puts it, '...the best medicine.'

Courtesy of Malte Mueller 🙏🏽


Walking is truly game-changing for us in different ways, providing benefits to our bodies and brains, though it doesn't seem like we are getting this message. This study shows how we in the good ole USofA (imagine my thick Texas accent I would sport walking into any Dairy Queen on I95 between Dallas and Austin) spend 87% of our time inside unnatural environments (aka indoors).1 The intricate science hiding in plain sight with walking both excites me and has me writing why we should consider more of it in our lives. 

Here are some scientific reasons I plan to keep my boots walking for the rest of my life.

  • Our brain contains a complex GPS guidance system, helping us survive, keep neural tracts active, and produce new memories. Also, a reminder to ditch your phone GPS.2 😉

  • More time in our cars and less time walking correlates to more inferior economic viability. We are more creative, productive, and fruitful on our feet.3

  • Multiple studies are teaching us that walking in green space improves psychological health through stress reduction and mood enhancement.4

  • Finally, we are more affable and connected with walking. This study highlights an array of health benefits, including greater well-being levels than groups that walked less or walked individually.5

Start today. Go outside for 10-15 minutes and walk around. See how you feel. 😁

1

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11477521/

2

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-brain-s-gps-tells-you-where-you-are-and-where-you-ve-come-from/

3

https://www.newgeography.com/content/001044-traffic-congestion-time-money-productivity

4

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19438150903378425

5

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863862/#B24-ijerph-10-05603