Did you know April 6th is National Walking Day? What better way to kick off spring then by taking a walk. There are tons of health benefits associated with walking, plus its always a good excuse to avoid your homework for just a little bit longer.
In one study, researchers took research participants on two walking trips, one in a rural area, and one in an urban area. They found that walking in both rural and urban areas had positive effects on mental health but walking in rural areas had the biggest benefit.
Another study found similar results. “This study found that walking through forest areas decreased the negative moods of ‘depression-dejection’, ‘tension-anxiety’, ‘anger-hostility’, ‘fatigue’, and ‘confusion’ and improved the participants’ positive mood of ‘vigor’ compared with walking through city areas.”
Anchorage is full of beautiful forested trails; many within a stones throw of the University. Take a look at the trails that are maintained by the Anchorage Parks & Rec Department. Just to the north of campus is the Goose Lake trail that begins behind the Conoco Phillips Integrated Science Building, does a loop around the lank, though a picnic area and back around. To the east in APU, there are several ski trails that double as walking trails in summer weather.
Still don’t think going for a walk is for you? Take a look at some of these other articles and see if any of them sway your mind.
Hillwalking and Walk Leading Motivations, Perceived Benefits and The Role of Natural Environment by N. Morocza
I Walk My Dog Because It Makes Me Happy: A Qualitative Study to Understand Why Dogs Motivate Walking and Improved Health by Carri Westgarth
Increasing Walking in College Students Using A Pedometer Intervention: Differences According to Body Mass Index by Erica Jackson
Walk This Way to Improve Your Health: To Gain Health Benefits, Walk at A Brisk Pace by Healthy Years Magazine
Walk to Benefit Mental Health by Paul Huggins
After-Meal Walks Offer Big Health Benefits by Matt McMillen