The benefits of walking: positive mental health and the human spirit
Exercise is something that many people do for the obvious health benefits, but few realize the mental and spiritual rewards of exercise. Physically, you experience the rewards of exercise by the outward appearance of a more tone physique, while mentally you are unconsciously improving your mood by releasing endorphins. By walking on a regular basis, you are increasing your heart rate, which increases the release of endorphins, “happy chemicals,” and fights off depression. Additionally, walking allows time for quieting of the mind, reflections on faith, or even encouraging conversations between friends. The following is an excerpt of an article which discusses the mental and physical benefits of walking:
Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body’s natural happy drugs – endorphins. Walkers who walk at a higher heart rate will notice this effect more than those who walk at a slower heart rate pace. But even at a slower pace, most people notice an improvement in mood.
Many physicians recommend adding regular walking and exercise as a natural treatment to relieve a bout of depression. The cause of depression is related to brain chemistry. By getting your brain to release more of the happy chemicals – the endorphins – you achieve naturally what many prescription drugs and herbs try to do artificially.
Depression can be a serious and life-threatening disease, consult your health care provider if your mood is leading to problems in your life or if you have suicidal thoughts.