Walking is the best brain booster I’ve ever learned in all my research on brain health and fitness.
The interesting thing is, I learned this incredible brain booster from having to deal with cancer.
It all started right after surgery when the nurses had me walk around the nurse’s station. That started a chain reaction that continues to benefit me mentally, emotionally and physically to this day.
How I learned This Incredible Brain Booster
I discovered that I had a stage-2 cancerous tumor in November 2016. Long story short, I underwent surgery to remove the tumor. I am thankful in that the cancer had not spread beyond the tumor and was removed with clear margins.
Right after surgery, the nurses had me walk around the nurse’s station at least once or twice a day. This, of course, was to get the blood and oxygen flowing, get the anesthesia out of my lungs, reduce inflammation and spur healing.
During the 8-week recovery post surgery, pretty much the only exercise I could do was walk – and sometimes not too far. But I did so whenever I could because I always felt better afterward.
Since the recovery, I still try to walk at least 20 min to 1hr each day. The uplifted mood, clear thinking, mental and physical benefits I receive from taking these walks are so tangible and helpful I try no to miss a single day if I can.
Why Walking Is The Best Brain Booster I’ve Ever Learned
I’ve been researching and studying brain health and fitness since 2009 and I believe that walking is the best brain booster I’ve ever learned.
I believe this because walking is…
- Easy To Do
- Builds A Healthy Habit
- Forms A Physical Base
- Has Tremendous Brain Health Benefits
1. Easy To Do
Walking is a basic movement and something that almost anyone can easily do.
With-in 24hrs after surgery, I was able to walk. I had staples in 5 different surgical locations, internal sutures, a catheter, and IV tubes sticking out of my body, yet I could still walk. Now mind you, I needed help from one of the nurses to steady me and ensure I didn’t fall, but I could walk.
Even if you need a walker, a cane or someone to steady you, you can still walk.
All you have to do for a quick brain boost is go outside, walk 5 to 10 min, turn around and come back. I will often do this prior to business meetings or conference calls. It helps clear my mind and improves my thinking and boosts my creativity.
2. Builds A Healthy Habit
When you exercise, including something as basic as walking, feel-good chemicals (dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin) get released in your brain. These chemicals make you feel good which in turn makes you want to go back for more.
Over time as you repeat this cycle of exercise and release of feel-good chemicals, a healthy habit is formed.
3. Forms A Physical Base
Walking helps to tone and strengthen your legs, back, midsection and arms. This forms a healthy physical base from which you can easily maintain or build upon throughout your life.
Once you’ve built a physical base, you can add in more strenuous forms of exercise as you wish. For instance, you could add in hiking, hill climbs, jog or sprint intervals, hill sprints, cycling, strength training, etc.
If you’re already into more strenuous exercise and perhaps a regular gym goer, walking can still be your go-t0 baseline exercise. For instance, if you become injured or can’t make it to the gym for some reason, taking a 10 to 20 min walk can still easily be fit into your schedule.
4. Has Tremendous Brain Health Benefits
The brain health benefits of exercise, including walking, are numerous:
- Increases blood flow to the brain
- Boosts your mood and helps reduce anxiety
- Lowers risk for developing Alzheimers symptoms
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts creativity
- Helps to make new brain cells
- Improves brain function
Below are several related posts I’ve written describing these benefits in detail:
Walking is the best brain booster I’ve ever learned and can easily be incorporated into your life.
It is so easy to do yet it yields such tremendous benefits both mentally and physically.
I encourage you to take a 5 to 20 min walk (or more!) today while listening to some good tunes and come back and tell me if it didn’t boost your mood and help clear your thinking!