It’s a fact – happy people walk differently than others. They tend to walk faster, are more upright and swing their arms more than sad or depressed people.
Research shows people’s mood affect how they walk. A study by the Journal of Behavior Therapy (published online in September 2014) found that deliberately walking like a happy person can lift one’s spirits; conversely, adopting the gait of a sad or depressed person can bring on sadness.
As residents of St. Petersburg we are fortunate to have over 150 parks where we can walk. Check out www.stpeteparksrec.org for a list of parks and beaches. Exercising in natural areas is not only good for your physical health, it can improve your mood and sense of well-being in as little as five minutes.
So, no excuses. Put on your walking shoes, add a bounce to your step, and say hello to a stranger. You will feel better for the effort and bring cheer to those you meet. Happiness is contagious!