8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

8 Proven Ways Walking Improves Your Brain

It might surprise you to hear that something as simple as walking can actually improve your brainpower.

It doesn’t even have to be full-on power walking! Even a twenty or thirty minute walk during your lunch break can have a positive impact on your brain.

Here are eight ways science has proven that walking is excellent for your brain: 

1. Walking helps lower your risk of depression
Walking is an excellent way to improve your mental health. A 2018 study showed that any kind of moderate aerobic exercise like brisk walking can boost your brain health and lower your risk of developing depression by a third.

2. Walking improves your cognitive function
A number of studies have shown that the magic amount of twenty to thirty minutes of daily aerobic exercise, such as walking, improves cognitive function and memory.

3. Walking stimulates endorphins  
Just ten minutes of walking is enough to start your brain releasing endorphins, the brain chemicals that lower stress, boost your mental health, and make you feel good. You’ve heard of the runner’s high? Well, you can get a similar positive rush from a brisk walk!

4. Walking releases the brain’s Magic Protein    
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been dubbed the brain’s ‘magic protein’ as it helps to rewire and build new neural pathways. Scientists believe it can even help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. And cardiovascular exercise is an easy way to stimulate the production of BDNF and keep your brain in peak condition.

5. Walking lowers physical and mental fatigue
A 2008 study by the University of Georgia found that just three sessions a week of a low-intensity exercise like walking can reduce fatigue levels by as much as 65 percent.

6. Walking builds hippocampus strength
Your hippocampus is the key part of the brain for forming and storing memories. Research has shown that even brief walks can actually increase the size and efficiency of your hippocampus.

7. Walking Improves Creativity
Artists, writers, and philosophers have long known the importance of walking for clearing blocked creativity and getting inspiration flowing again. Science can now back this up with a 2014 study by Stanford University showing that walking increases your creative output by up to sixty percent.

8. Walking increases blood flow to the brain
Blood is vital for every organ in your body, not least of all, your brain. That magic twenty minutes is all it takes to increase the blood flow to your brain to keep it active and healthy.

What do you think? Not bad for 20 minutes exercise!

I’ve long been a fan of walking and hiking and that’s before I realised it had just so many key benefits. Not to mention the added grounding and healing benefits of walking in nature. 

Right, I’m off for a walk…

 

Rising Ritual: The importance of your morning routine

Rising Ritual: The importance of your morning routine

Good morning sunshine!

What we do first thing in the morning sets the tone for our entire day.

Establishing good morning habits has been proven to make you more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day.

Each day we only have a certain amount of willpower. That willpower is strongest on wakening. That’s why we’re more inclined to demolish that family size chocolate bar at night time when our willpower reserves are low!

If you get up and step straight into your morning routine it eliminates the need for any decisions. Not only does that help ease you into the day, but saving that brain power for later in the day means you’ll be much more productive.

If having a morning routine is an essential for the most successful 1% of people in the planet then why not give it a try?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always do all of it. But I always do some of it. Even when I first waken, I list three things I’m grateful for before I get out of bed, even if one of those is just being thankful for my warm, comfy bed. Gratitude and appreciation starts your day with a positive mindset.

When I do follow my full routine, it takes less than an hour and makes me feel more grounded, focused, centred and clears my mind for the day ahead.

So here are some of the options you might choose from to start your day as you mean to continue. The most important thing is that you choose both really suits you so that you’re more likely to stick to it long term.

RISING RITUAL OPTIONS:
~ Silence
~ Meditation
~ Gratitude
~ Affirmations
~ Visualisation
~ Intentions: set an intention for the day ahead
~ Pranayama (breathing)
~ Reading
~ Journaling
~ Stretching
~ Yoga
~ A walk in nature
~ Keeping it a tech free / email free zone until a certain time
~ Mindful coffee / tea / juice / smoothie
~ Cuddles with the dog. Or is that just me?

So how do you do yours?…

LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

LSW Mind Cards: Positive Actions for Happiness & Fulfilment

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LSW Mind Cards might just be my new favourite thing.

They’re beautifully designed cards created to help you to become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings, take back control of your happiness, focus on the present and spread positivity throughout your life.

You get 45 gorgeous individually designed cards presented in a beautiful box.

The cards cover 5 inspiring, thought provoking categories:

* Kindness
* Ritual
* Gratitude
* Journal
* Reflection

I’ve written about all of these categories before, raving about the benefits of developing a daily practice incorporating all these elements. These beautiful, inspiring LSW Mind Cards give you the tools to guide you through that practice.

Each day, you select one of the LSW Mind Cards at random and take the action stated on the card. Building the habit of making positive choices each day will help you lead a more fulfilling and happier life.

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