\n\n\r\n1. Instant Happiness\r\nWhether you're just having a down day or a down life, taking a walk can instantly lift your mood\u2014especially when you go outdoors.\u00a0Not only can walking make you less depressed, but according to a\u00a0study\u00a0published in the\u00a0Archives of Internal Medicine, depression sufferers who took a daily walk\u00a0showed just as much improvement in their symptoms as people on medication. In fact, 60 to 70 per cent of the subjects could no longer even be classified as\u00a0depressed.\u00a0And a\u00a0follow-up study found that the\u00a0mood boost\u00a0from the\u00a0walk\u00a0lasted longer than\u00a0that\u00a0of\u00a0the medication.\r\n\r\nYou can also boost your mood with these five supplements!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n2. Off-the-Charts Creativity\r\nStumped for an idea?\u00a0Take a quick\u00a0stroll around the block. Whether you need a solution to a problem at work or you're looking for inspiration for your novel, walking gets your creative juices flowing in all areas. A recent\u00a0study\u00a0published in\u00a0Frontiers in Neuroscience\u00a0found that walking improved both convergent and divergent thinking, the two types associated with enhanced creativity.\r\n\r\nThese are the best brain foods you should be eating.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n3. Allergies Be Gone\r\nSidelined by\u00a0sneezing, sniffling and itchy, watery eyes, thanks to all the pollen in the air? Your\u00a0instinct may be to close all the windows and hide until winter, but your instinct might be wrong. According to a Thai\u00a0study, researchers\u00a0found\u00a0that walking or running\u2014even for just 15 minutes\u2014can reduce sneezing, itching, congestion and runny nose by up to 70 per cent.\r\n\r\nHere's everything you need to know about non-allergic rhinitis.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n4. Metabolism\u00a0to the Max\r\nMetabolic syndrome\u2014the evil trifecta of increased blood pressure\/cholesterol, high blood sugar, and fat around your waist\u2014is one of the worst side effects of our sedentary lifestyle. It signals diabetes, heart disease, and even early death.\u00a0But we have an old-fashioned cure to this modern-day disease: exercise. Any cardio exercise, including walking, can stop metabolic syndrome and even reverse the damage, according to a\u00a0study\u00a0published in\u00a0Circulation.\u00a0But\u00a0intensity is the key to revving up your metabolism.\u00a0Rather than just taking a leisurely stroll, try alternating walking fast and slow.\r\n\r\nFollow these tips to help speed up your metabolism!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n5. Seven. Extra. Years.\r\nWant to live longer? Walk.\u00a0Research\u00a0has shown that you can add up to seven years to your life by exercising daily, regardless of what you weigh. Even better, those extra years will be good ones as folks who\u00a0walk are happier. A\u00a0separate\u00a0study\u00a0found that people who exercise report feeling happier, more excited, and\u00a0more enthusiastic about their future\u00a0than their couch-potato brothers.\r\n\r\nHere are eight ways to naturally increase endorphins!\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n6. Cash in the Bank\r\nFitness can be pricey!\u00a0Money for a\u00a0gym membership, home exercise equipment, workout clothes, and shoes\u00a0adds up fast. But it doesn't have to. Walking needs absolutely nothing to do it\u2014even shoes are optional!\u2014but still provides great health benefits. And not only does it save you money on things but it also saves you money in healthcare. Experts at Harvard\u00a0estimate\u00a0that for each dollar spent on preventative health,\u00a0including time spent\u00a0walking, you save $2.71 in future health costs.\r\n\r\nRead on to find out how to find the best running shoe for you.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n7. Nature's Anti-Wrinkle Cream\r\nThe fountain of youth exists\u2014but you're going to have to walk to find it. And we mean that literally. People who walk regularly not only look younger than their age (as long as you're remembering your sunscreen!) but they may also be younger on a cellular level, according to\u00a0research\u00a0published in\u00a0PLOS One. The scientists found that cardiovascular exercise, like walking, can preserve or even lengthen\u00a0your\u00a0telomeres, the parts of our DNA that shorten as we age. Who's worried about wrinkles now?\r\n\r\nCheck out the eight best foods for healthy skin that glows.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n8. Zzzzzzzzzz....\r\nGetting a solid eight hours snoozing in the sack is one of the most important things you can do for your health. But sometimes that's easier said than done.\u00a0Thankfully\u00a0a brisk walk is basically Ambien, minus the pill. In a large\u00a0meta-analysis\u00a0of sleep studies, researchers found that\u00a0regular walkers\u00a0had\u00a0longer\u00a0and\u00a0better\u00a0quality sleep. And for those unlucky few who still had insomnia? Walking helped reduce the number of sleepless nights they experienced.\r\nFind out the seven best ways to cure insomnia.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n9. Keep Calm and Carry On\r\nRaise your hand if you're stressed out. OK, OK, put\u00a0both\u00a0your hands back down. Most of us swim in a pool of stress every day and that takes a serious toll on our mental and physical health. \u00a0But science says one of the benefits of walking is it's one of the fastest, most effective ways to calm down. Moving clears cortisol, the "stress hormone", out of your system and also helps stop the never-ending stream of worries going through your mind, according to a\u00a0study\u00a0published in\u00a0The American Journal of Cardiology.\r\n\r\nCheck out these 37 stress management tips from the experts!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n10. Banish Brain Drain\r\nIt's official: Walking is as good for your brain as it is for your body. A\u00a0comprehensive\u00a0study\u00a0of the effects of exercise on the brain found that\u00a0it benefits all aspects of your mind, including\u00a0memory,\u00a0cognition,\u00a0learning, reading and it even increases the size of your brain to boot. Even better, walking protects your brain by lessening your risk of getting cognitive illnesses like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.\r\n\r\nImprove your memory naturally with these expert-approved strategies.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n11. A Drug-Free Painkiller\r\nChronic pain has been\u00a0called\u00a0a silent epidemic. If you're one of those people battling daily pain\u00a0the last thing you probably want to do is get up and go for a walk. But researchers\u00a0found\u00a0that moderate walking\u00a0improved chronic pain in people, both in the short term and the long\u00a0run,\u00a0even if the underlying condition remained uncured. The pain relief benefits of walking may not be able to cure\u00a0chronic pain, but it can help you deal with it better.\r\n\r\nDiscuss these four treatments for chronic back pain\u00a0with your doctor.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n12. Beefed-Up Bones\r\nBone density may not be one of the most exciting health benefits of walking, but it's an important one. People with stronger bones avoid osteoporosis and all the problems that come with\u00a0it\u00a0like fractures, disability, and\u00a0spine\u00a0shrinkage (seriously, you can get shorter). And the best way to get strong, healthy bones is by doing weight-bearing exercises like running, dancing and, yes, walking, according to a large\u00a0study\u00a0done by Oxford.\u00a0But when it comes to bones, it's definitely use it or lose it: To keep your bones strong you have to keep exercising.\u00a0The researchers\u00a0found that adults who walked regularly had better bone density throughout their lives than their\u00a0inactive\u00a0friends.\r\n\r\nPlanning to run in the winter? Check out these beginner running tips.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n13. X-Ray Vision\r\nOK, so maybe you won't have the ability to see through walls but you can protect your vision as you age by taking a daily walk, according to a\u00a0study\u00a0published in the\u00a0Journal of Neuroscience.\u00a0Researchers found that people who did regular aerobic activity had healthier\u00a0eyeballs\u00a0and were less likely to suffer from problems like retinal degeneration and age-related vision loss. So even if you aren't Superman, you'll still have super sight.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n14. Quality Time with Loved Ones\r\nTaking a walk alone can be great for clearing your head or blowing off some steam but it also provides a great opportunity to bond with friends and family\u2014far away from electronics and other distractions at home. Even better, you set a powerful example because when they see you reaping in the benefits of walking, they'll be encouraged to walk more, too, according to a\u00a0study\u00a0published in\u00a0Psychology of Sport and Exercise.\r\n\r\n\r\n\n\n\r\n15. Free Miracle Drug\r\nExercise has been\u00a0called\u00a0a "miracle drug" for its ability to help prevent cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and many, many other illnesses. Let's be honest, there doesn't seem to be a single health condition that it can't help in some way. And unlike real drugs,\u00a0walking\u00a0has no side effects, is easily accessible, affordable, effective, and best of all, you don\u2019t\u00a0need\u00a0a prescription!\r\n\r\nHere are seven signs of lung cancer you may be ignoring.\r\n\r\nOriginally published as\u00a015 Benefits of Walking for Just 15 Minutes on ReadersDigest.com.