The Best Walk on Earth

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Medically reviewed in December 2021

It may take a bit more effort, but finding a pretty place to walk is priority number one if you want to feel mentally refreshed.

Research suggests that getting your stroll on somewhere scenic not only is great for the body but also helps revive tired brain cells. Both memory and focusing abilities will get a lift.

Outdoor Outcomes
The small study tested short-term memory and attention levels in two groups of walkers. One group was tested after taking an hour-long walk in a park. Another group was tested after walking in a busy downtown area. And the back-to-nature walkers showed marked improvements in their mental test scores afterward. But the downtown strollers? Not so much.

Natural Healing
So why does exercise time with Mother Nature have the power to give mental pick-me-ups? Researchers suspect that scenic surroundings simply put people more at ease. Such surroundings also require less attention to detail and decision making. So whether you workout outside, in your home, or at a gym, give your brain a break by creating an environment that feels calm and easy to negotiate. (In fact, just looking out the window at something pretty may help relieve stress.)

Here are a few more ways to get better mind-body benefits from your walks:

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