As a kid I used to hate getting up early in the morning and going for a walk with my father. I always used to give some or the other excuse to skip the walking part from my routine but nothing used to work with my dad. But after going through the information about the benefits of walking, I realize why my father always forced me to go for a walk.
One of the benefits of walking is memory improvement. Walking can actually improve your memory and this has been proved in many researches. Let's find out details about it in the following paragraphs.
Walking and Memory
There are number of health benefits of walking, but you will be surprised to know that walking can improve your memory as well. The part of the brain which is associated with memory is known as hippocampus. As the person starts achieving older age this important part of the brain starts shrinking which results in forgetfulness and memory loss.
This may increase the risk of dementia which is very commonly observed in older adults. Physical exercises such as walking are said to be very beneficial in improving the memory power by increasing the volume of hippocampus in the brain. Many researches and studies have shown this that walking really helps in improving memory.
A study which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows a research done on 120 sedentary older adults without dementia. These people were divided randomly into two groups. One group was supposed to do stretching and resistance training whereas the other group was asked to walk 40 minutes a day on any 3 days a week.
This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The reports written after a year showed 2% increase in the volume of hippocampus in the people who were asked to go walking. While the members of other group showed expectable decrease in the hippocampus due to aging. Hence this 2% rise in the volume is a very significant achievement.
Walking can be great if it is accompanied by meditation. Complete your walking routine and then meditate for 15 minutes. Walking will sharpen your brain cells and meditation will relax your body and will help the other brain cells and nerves to work properly. So try it out to get the best results.
Some Important Walking Tips
Walking can be done by any one whether they are old, young, pregnant ladies, kids or any one. You can perform this activity according to your stamina and can go for any type like brisk walking or power walking. Following are some of the tips which you can follow while walking.
- Wear lose and comfortable clothes which can help your body to breathe.
- Do not walk barefoot. Get a good pair of walking shoes which also save you from sudden injury like twisted ankles, etc.
- Keep your arms bent to 90 degrees as it will save you from swelling, but do not walk with folded hands.
- Look up straight while walking as looking down to the feet and walking can cause you neck, back and shoulder problems.
- Do not overexert yourself. Start with 15 minutes and then extend the time accordingly. This will improve your stamina and will also not cause exertion.
- Take a day off from walking so as to give rest to your body.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before the walk and small amount of water in every 20 minutes during the walk.
So these were some of the walking tips which can help you to stay fit and to improve your memory. Though the problem of memory loss is more frequent in old people, walking can be beneficial for every individual. So, if you want to improve your physical and mental health then include walking in your daily exercise.