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Walking is like frosting on the cake for you when it’s compounded by a good night’s sleep, meditation and consuming plant-based meals. Walking is also one of the best ways to decrease stress-eating habits, to minimize and keep them from reoccurring.
Experts say that stress eating often stems from psychological or emotional dilemmas. That being said, walking regularly reverses imbalances in cortisol levels and releases endorphins into your system, helping you feel elevated.
Cortisol, a hormone produced by the body when it’s under stress (such as anger, anxiety or fear), ultimately inflames and damages our organs. Brisk walking stimulates the brain's pituitary gland, causing it to release endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins give us a euphoric feeling.
Researchers in Finland discovered that exercise-induced endorphin release in the brain depends on the intensity of aerobic activity. So alternating different speeds of rapid walking will stimulate a release of happy hormones.
Walking in natural surroundings should be part of a fitness plan. Research has proven that walking on natural, uneven ground, such as hiking trails and steps, reduces your chance of slip-and-fall injuries while enhancing balance.
Walking in various environments maintains adaptability and well-being. Those individuals who are adept at treadmill or indoor walking programs do not fare as well when they walk on meandering, unsteady paths. With this in mind, it’s wise to cultivate a habit of walking in nature from a young age, so we may gracefully navigate the future and be forever vital as mature adults.
Tiina Saanijoki Lauri Tuominen, Jetro J Tuulari, Lauri Nummenmaa, Eveliina Arponen, Kari Kalliokoski, Jussi Hirvonen, Opioid Release after High-Intensity Interval Training in Healthy Human Subjects, Neuropsychopharmacology volume43, pages246–254 (2018)