Increase Enthusiasm, Reduce Tension: Walk for 30 Minutes

Walking by Rupert Ganzer CC on FlickRNew research highlighted in the New York Times has convinced me to take a 30 minute stroll every day. We’re so used to health outcomes happening on long-term time frames that it’s taken us this long to see how we feel on the same day:

Fewer studies have examined more-abrupt, day-to-day and even hour-by-hour changes in people’s moods, depending on whether they exercise, and even fewer have focused on these effects while people are at work, even though most of us spend a majority of our waking hours in an office.

The responses, as it turned out, were substantially different when people had walked. On the afternoons after a lunchtime stroll, walkers said they felt considerably more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope than on afternoons when they hadn’t walked and even compared with their own moods from a morning before a walk.

I’ve recently waffled on, then settled on a standing desk made of cardboard boxes instead of a sitting desk. Graduating to a daily lunchtime walk seems like a natural next step, and now it might even be defensible too.

The article with all the details is well worth a read.