Power of walking
1. Walking reduces stress
A study at the University of Massachusetts found that walking reduces cortisol levels by 23%. Cortisol is the stress hormone. The study also found that walking increased dopamine levels (reduces cravings) and oxytocin (the love hormone).
2. Walking increases creativity
In a study at Stanford, participants were asked to solve a series of puzzles. One group was instructed to walk around the block between each puzzle. The group that walked solved twice as many puzzles as those who sat down in between each one.
3. Walking improves immune system function
A study in Australia had people walk for an hour a day for six days. Their immune systems improved significantly over people who did not walk.
4. Walking can help you lose weight
According to a study by Duke University, even if you do nothing but reduce your sitting time and add walking time, you will lose weight. This is because reducing your sitting time reduces insulin resistance which causes weight gain.
5. Walking can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia
In a small pilot study, researchers had people with insomnia take a brisk 45 minute walk before bedtime every night for four weeks. By the end of the study, 73% of participants reported significant improvements in their sleep quality and 90% said they would recommend this treatment to others with insomnia.