Even on days off when leaving the house seems unappealing, overcoming this reluctance is essential. Spending just 30 minutes in the fresh air can have a noticeable impact on your health, according to Doctor Peters.
In an era of remote work and home deliveries, many people find themselves leaving their homes less frequently. However, doctors emphasize the importance of walking for pleasure or combining it with practical activities.
A familiar scenario is when someone, after an argument, says, "I need some time alone, I'll go for a walk." Our body, a complex and wise mechanism, craves outdoor activity for a reason. Active movement in fresh air helps us cope with the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. The more we walk, run, and breathe deeply, the easier it is to live through any unpleasant situation.
To benefit your health, try to walk every day, starting with at least a 30-minute stroll. For instance, instead of ordering food, walk to a distant store. Or make your dog happy by taking it on a short outing.
According to specialists walking in the fresh air contributes to:
Improved mood and the release of happiness hormones into the bloodstream. Clean air helps relax and calm down. Stanford University scientists have proven that walks in nature are particularly beneficial. Just 30 minutes in a forest, near a lake, or in a park can reduce the activity of brain parts associated with stress and depressive moods.
Better sleep quality. Spending several hours outdoors leads to deeper sleep and a more energetic and happier feeling in the morning. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to walk before bedtime, do it. The effect will be noticeable the next day.
Brain enhancement. Even a short walk in the forest or park positively affects cognitive abilities: attention concentration can increase by about 20%. In a U.S. study, two groups of people aged 50 to 80 regularly engaged in stretching exercises. However, one group did so indoors, while the other did so outdoors. After a year of observation, experts concluded that the latter group experienced a 2% increase in brain areas responsible for memory and planning.
Weight loss. The more we move, the more calories we burn. Daily walks, especially at a brisk pace, are a great alternative to the gym.
Improved appearance. Being outdoors provides enough oxygen, beneficial for the entire circulatory system. This results in a natural blush, a more rested appearance, and radiant skin.