Walking lifts your mood, even when you don’t expect it to

Walking lifts your mood, even when you don’t expect it to

Ok, so today we learn that we live in interesting times.

Rather than focus on the negative, put your energy into improving your mood and overall wellbeing.

Ignore the rain, or get off to the gym, and get walking.

Apparently:

"The mere act of putting one foot in front of the other for a few minutes has a significant beneficial impact on our mood, regardless of where we do it, why we do it, or what effect we expect the walk to have."

 

By C.Jarrett for digest.bps.org.uk

The mere act of putting one foot in front of the other for a few minutes has a significant beneficial impact on our mood, regardless of where we do it, why we do it, or what effect we expect the walk to have. That’s according to a pair of psychologists at Iowa State University who claim their study, published in Emotion, is the first to strip away all the many confounds typically associated with exercise research – things like social contact, fresh air, nature, the satisfaction of reaching fitness goals, and the expectation of the activity being beneficial – to show that the simple act of walking, in and of itself, is a powerful mood lifter.

The reason, argue Jeffrey Miller and Zlatan Krizan, is connected with how we evolved to move to find food and other rewards, which means positive emotions are closely linked with our movement. In essence, the psychologists write, “movement not only causes increased positive affect [emotional feelings] … but movement partially embodies, or in a sense reflects, positive affect.”

The researchers tested hundreds of undergrad students across three studies with the true aims of the research disguised in each case – for example in the first instance it was framed as supposedly being an investigation into the effects of unfamiliar environments on mood. The researchers also checked to ensure no one guessed the true aims of the study [….] read more>>

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