Take an Evening Stroll

Connect


If you’ve ever visited Italy, you may have noticed the sidewalks and streets became a bit more crowded in the hours around dusk. This is thanks to an Italian tradition called la passeggiata, the time of day when Italian friends and families take an evening stroll.

Yes, walking is good for your health and burns calories, but this type of walk isn’t about exercise. In Italy, you’ll notice that families out for an evening walk aren’t wearing workout gear. Instead, they might be wearing their finest clothes, definitely dressed to impress.

La passeggiata is about community and social well being. It’s a time to step outside of the comforts of home and greet friends and acquaintances. Conversations that occur during these walks clue everyone in on the latest news and gossip and reinforce a sense of community.

There type of evening parade might not exist where you live, but most communities have some type of buzz outdoors around dusk, whether it’s kids riding bikes or people walking their dogs.

Engaging in your community and exposing your brain to new, fun experiences are both supportive of brain health. If you’re feeling a bit lonely, walking out your front door and strolling down your street might be just what your brain needs.

References

  • Fallahpour, M., Borell, L., Luborsky, M., & Nygård, L. (2016). Leisure-activity participation to prevent later-life cognitive decline: A systematic review. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 23(3), 162–197. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2015.1102320
  • Holwerda, T. J., Deeg, D. J. H., Beekman, A. T. F., van Tilburg, T. G., Stek, M. L., Jonker, C., & Schoevers, R. A. (2014). Feelings of loneliness, but not social isolation, predict dementia onset: Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL). Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 85(2), 135–142. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2012-302755