Walking: 6 Awesome Benefits
Taking a 30-minute walk a day is a great way to stay healthy in an increasingly sedentary age.
Walking can help you de-stress, trim your waistline, lower your blood pressure and reducing your risk of chronic disease. That simple activity that you have been since you were around a year old is being touted as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug” according to Dr Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention!
What’s more, it’s free and has practically no negative side effects. Let’s look at a few more benefits of walking regularly.
You’ll improve your mood
Going for a walk is a do-anywhere, no equipment required activity that can improve your mood and keep you mentally sharp.
Regular walking can actually modify your nervous system to the point where you will feel a decrease in anger and hostility and bring down general stress levels. Like any other cardiovascular exercise, brisk walking boosts your endorphins. This reduces stress hormones and alleviates mild depression.
Taking a walk in the park could shift your brain into a calmer, meditative state. Walking in green spaces are mood-enhancing, conquer mental fatigue and boost cognitive functioning. Last but not least, walking outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight, and can help you stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
You will be more productive
As mentioned previously, walking can enhance your cognitive function; that daily walk can help you be more productive throughout your week!
A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that walking boosts creative ideation, increasing creative and divergent thinking – with a residual creative boost throughout the day. In his way, walking can help you with writer's block or giving you a different perspective on tricky problems you need to solve throughout your workday.
You will feel lighter
Britons are walking less (from 255 miles per year in 1976 to 179 miles in 2010), and this is having a negative impact on our health.
One of the major benefits of walking is the general fitness boost that it will give you. The more you walk, the more likely you are to see a reduction in belly fat. Walking is one of the best low impact ways to positively alter the composition of your body. This is because daily walking increases metabolism, burning calories and stopping muscle loss, which gets more important as we get older.
You’ll decrease your risk of disease
Walking for 2.5 hours a week - just 21 minutes a day -can cut your risk of heart disease by up to 30%. Also, walking has shown to reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
According to the American Diabetes Association, walking lowers your blood sugar levels, moderates insulin and reduces your overall risk of diabetes. Regular walking can also lower blood pressure by up to 11 points, and can reduce the risk of stroke by 20-40%.
It also can drastically decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease – by up to 30% compared to people who do not walk regularly. Walking a regular 20-30 minutes a day is a brilliant way to look after your personal health.
Your insides will thank you
Walking can drastically improve your gastric mobility!
Walking utilizes core and abdominal muscles, which encourages movement in our gastrointestinal system. A post-meal walk can aid in digestion, speeding the rate at which food moves through the stomach.
Basically, walking clears glucose from your bloodstream, lowering blood sugar and helping move food through your system quicker - So the healthy movement of walking will also promote… movement elsewhere.
Everything else gets easier
The regular walker will have a more regular routine. This means you will be more likely to continue with the regular walking activity, as well as helping you take up other health behaviours. Potentially, walking will help you take up other, health behaviours that will improve your overall health, reduce stress and increase happiness.
The benefits of walking one a day are indisputable – so what is stopping you? Whether it is a brisk morning walk, a lunchtime jaunt or an evening stroll, there are so many reasons to incorporate short walks into your daily routine. It’s worth it!
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