Walking makes you healthier, happier and smarter


April 3, 2024

Walking makes you healthier, happier and smarter, research shows. Good reason to go outside more often.

To walk makes you healthier, happier and smarter according to this English professor. The Guardian calls walking one super power!

The Guardian wrote, a few years ago now, that walking is a ‘super power’. The reason was a book by the Irish professor and neuroscientist Shane O’Maraattached to Trinity College. He believes that regular walking is the best way to make you think better. Instead of a gym membership, everyone should buy a pair of walking shoes, he thinks.

Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara is a passionate hiker himself. And according to him, walking with others is one of the best things in life. And he says that not only because he loves walking so much, but also because he has been researching it for years. And that research data shows that regular walking helps us Healthierhappier and smarter!

Walking makes you healthier

In his book, which is entitled Te Voet in Dutch, he explains what happens in our brains when we walk. When you sit at a desk all day, it’s easy to start feeling like a mindless polyp to walk and talking stimulates our minds,” he says in the interview. “Our sensory systems work best when they are moving through the world,” says O’Mara. He points to a 2018 study that tracked participants’ activity levels and personality traits for 20 years and found that those who exercised the least showed more negative personality changes and scored lower on positive traits: openness, extroversion and friendliness.

Walkers are less likely to experience depression

Walkers are also less likely to have one depression, he says. “One of the great overlooked superpowers we have is that when we get up and go for a walk, our senses become sharper. Everything around us suddenly comes to life and the brain and body therefore interact differently.

Brain injury

Although there is little available data on walking and brain injury, “it is reasonable to assume that guided walking may help with acquired brain injury brain injury, depending on the nature, type and extent of the injury,” he says. “Perhaps it is due to the increased blood flow, and perhaps also due to the effect of synchronizing different electrical rhythms in the brain. Or perhaps by systematically performing dual tasks, such as talking and walking.”

Walking better than gym

He is convinced that regular walking is better than going to the gym every now and then. To get the most out of the health benefits, he recommends that “speed should be consistently high over a reasonable distance – say consistently over 5 km/h, maintained for at least 30 minutes, at least four or five times a week.” Walking makes you healthiersaid the professor.

Also read: What are the benefits of walking barefoot?

Reading tip

In Praise or Walking by Shane O’Mara (translated into Dutch as On Foot)

Humans as a species are defined by our method of locomotion: on two legs. It took us from Africa to such distant parts of the world as Alaska and Australia. It freed our hands and our minds. Yet few people know exactly how walking upright works, let alone realize the benefits it brings us.
In On foot neuroscientist Shane O’Mara pays tribute to walking.

to walk



The article is in Dutch

Tags: Walking healthier happier smarter


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