Now that gyms, movie theatres and restaurants are closed we are all trying to find new forms of entertainment and relaxation. One of the more popular choices is to go for a walk. Everywhere you look, you see people going for a stroll, whether that is in the morning, during lunchtime or at night. And that’s a good thing! Especially in times like these, where we are all moving even less than before. Dutch neuropsychologist Erik Scherder is a big advocate for daily walks, even more now than ever before.
As we’ve mentioned before in one of our blog posts, daily walks are good for your mental health. You feel happier, healthier and calmer after a walk. Erik Scherder agrees with these points: “Walking can ease your mind. Your worrying will decrease and then the default state of mind starts. That’s the network for creativity. And that is why you come up with new ideas during walks”. Why does this happen? Walking increases your blood circulation, making your brain perform better. Your motivation increases and you get better control over your impulses. Both are incredibly important to stay focused and motivated during these ‘work from home-days’.
An important note next to these mental health benefits: moving, in whatever form, helps strengthen your immune system. You will physically become stronger. Like Scherder mentions “those who are at their most vulnerable, are those with an inactive lifestyle.” Going for a daily walk will definitely help build your immune system, which is of course important in the time we live in now, but a great thing to work on in general.
Picture by Wolvenkinderen
In short, going for that daily walk might be more important than ever! To help motivate you to go for a walk every day, the Dutch brain foundation and Erik Scherder have released an app called ‘Ommetje’, dutch for “a walk around the block”. One walk should take at least 20 minutes for the best effect on your brain. You can join a group to challenge each other and meet daily goals to get even more points. Next to this, the app gives you information about a healthy brain every once in a while.
The app is available in English, but another option is to set up daily goals for yourself using an activity tracker or even just the step counter on your phone. Try and bring a group of friends together and see if you can push each other to go outside every day. 10.000 steps each day should be doable right?
Download the app here or find other step counter apps yourself!