Scientists at New Mexico Highlands University discovered that pressure waves, created when we walk, can increase the supply of blood to the brain, improving brain health and function.

Professor Earnest Greene and his team used ultrasound to calculate blood flow to the brains of young adults while they stood upright and when they walked steadily.

“The dynamic effects of walking, running, and cycling—natural whole-body movement as in work or physical exercise activities—on human brain blood flow were simply unknown,” Greene said. “It was assumed that they were, as in rest, closely controlled and generally held constant.”

But Greene’s experiment found that, although walking has a lighter foot impact than running, it still produces pressure waves that increse blood flow to the brain significatly. They weren’t as strong as the pressure waves generated by running, but they were stronger than the effects of cycling, which involves no foot impact.