Walking regenerates the brain, relieves sadness and stress

If you feel sad, worried or anxious, one of the best natural remedies is to walk. Get away, literally, from the source of the problem and immerse yourself in a natural environment. There is nothing better than a nice walk to relieve pain, get rid of accumulated stress and recharge your batteries.

In fact, exercise, and walking in particular, is known to be an excellent therapy for treating depression and anxiety. Walking at a sustained pace has been shown to promote the release of endorphins, hormones that make us feel happy and relaxed, while reducing the production of cortisol, the stress hormone.

In addition, neuroscientists at Princeton University believe that the effects of a healthy walk go beyond the momentary production of some neurotransmitters, and believe that regular walking can even help regenerate the brain by helping us cope better and with less stress. everyday problems.

The “calming neurons” in the brain

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These researchers worked with two groups of guinea pigs, one group remained active and the other destined for a sedentary life. After walking, the scientists analyzed their brains and found that in animals that had been physically active, some neurons were activated that inhibited the activity of overexcited nerve cells.

They then added some environmental stress and found activation of excitable neurons in the hippocampus, a brain region involved in emotional responses.

However, the walking animals could deal better with this brain activation since even the “calming neurons” were activated to prevent the shock of the situation from being excessive and to keep stress under control.

These results, which neuroscientists also consider valuable for humans, could explain why walking helps us relax and forget about worries and pain.

Everything indicates that when we walk, the brain activates the “calming neurons” that inhibit the level of excitation of the neurons that are the basis of worries, musings and stress.

This indicates that physical activity helps to reorganize the brain, so that people who walk and engage in physical activity are less likely to experience high levels of anxiety on a regular basis and stress interferes less during their daily lives. Basically, walking improves the inhibition mechanism that prevents the most excitable nerve cells from becoming hyperactive.

To get the maximum benefit from the walk, it is best to choose a path surrounded by nature

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It is not the same to walk on a conveyor belt, between the four walls of a gym, in the city or in the middle of nature. Neuroscientists at Heriot-Watt University demonstrated this by monitoring the brain activity of 12 people as they walked for 25 minutes in a shopping mall, in a green space, and on a busy street.

The mobile electroencephalogram monitored emotions and states such as frustration, meditation, enthusiasm, and attention.

They then found that relaxation and meditation were more intense when the subjects walked through green spaces. These people also felt less frustrated.

This is because in green spaces our brain can completely switch off and activate what is called “involuntary attention”, which has the ability to move freely in a state quite similar to mindfulness meditation.

On the contrary, in the streets and shopping malls we have to be more attentive, so we do not have the opportunity to completely disconnect from our worries and not allow our brain to rest.

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Source: Saludyhogar

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