After grinding away at your desk for nine hours straight, getting yourself to a sweaty gym might be too high an ask, but going on a post-work walk, while availing of some much appreciated extra hours of daylight (thank you GMT) can be a great way to boost your mood, while getting your exercise in too!
And yes, walking does count as a workout, we checked...
It's finally Spring, and with it comes office clock-outs that aren't bathed in complete darkness. Rejoice!
At a basic level, as humans, we need light to survive, live and thrive, and in case the long, cold winter has made you a little too attached to your couch, we're here to shine a light—pun fully intended – on the wellbeing benefits of just getting out for a walk on these brighter evenings.
WALK + SUNLIGHT = Vitamin D
Without getting too scientific about it, Vitamin D is produced using ultraviolet light from the sun and cholesterol in the skin and our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and help with bone growth. Pretty integral to the optimum functioning of lots of organs and systems, low levels of the vitamin can lead to bone density, muscle aches, mood disorders, and weaker immunity.
WALK + SUNLIGHT = Better Mood
Not just because it means you can wear your sunnies, but research has observed that that sunlight is associated with the rate of production of serotonin in the brain and that levels rise rapidly with increased light. Scratching your head? Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood and is sometimes more affectionately called 'the happy chemical', because of its link with wellbeing and happiness.
WALK + SUNLIGHT = More Energy
You know those light-emitting alarm clocks that are super trendy of late? Turns out there's something to them. When your eyes detect light, that tells your brain (the hypothalamus in particular) to wake up and release the cortisol you need to increase your metabolism and get through your day. Regular sufferer of the mid-afternoon-slump? Think of this as a great excuse to take a lunchtime walk.
WALK + SUNLIGHT = An Actual Workout
If you're the kind of person who shuns the concept of walking as a real workout, you should quieten those doubts because, according to a recent study, it absolutely does count as a sweat sesh—as long as you meet the speed limit, that is. Aim for a minimum of 100 steps per minute, which breaks down to 2.7 miles per hour or 1.7 steps a second, and you'll actively be getting your heart-rate up.
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