Why should you add more walking into your daily routine? Taking a walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There’s a good chance it’ll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight, to helping you de-stress, to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health.
So let’s go over how lacing up your shoes and stepping up your walking game can improve your mind and body.
Walking will give you a boost of energy
It’s true that any physical activity that gets your heart pumping, your blood flowing, and your body’s endorphins moving will result in enhanced energy levels. Well, walking is no exception, and you don’t have to walk for hours and hours to experience the benefits.
In fact, going for just a 20-minute walk for three days every week for six weeks can result in 20% more energy levels and less feelings of fatigue.
Walk to reduce your disease risk.
There’s convincing evidence that regular exercise contributes to lowering your heart attack risk by as much as 86 percent, and your risk for stroke up to 50 percent! That’s huge!
In addition, being physically active is linked to reduced risk for some cancers, including colon, breast, lung, prostate, and uterine cancer. That in itsself is a good reason to throw on those walking shoes again.
Walking will make you stronger.
Exercise helps keep your muscles and joints strong. It replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of your joints, reducing stiffness and pain that is common with arthritis. And it also helps to maintain bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.
Walking produces positive brain changes
Doing low impact aerobic exercises, like walking, can prevent early dementia, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and improve overall mental health. Not to mention it reduces mental stress and helps you maintain a higher level of endorphins.
Walking helps to prevent heart diseases.
According to the American Heart Association, walking is no less effective than running when it comes to the prevention of heart-related disease or stroke.
Walking as much as 20 minutes a day helps avoid heart problems by lowering high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and improving blood circulation.
Walking increases your lung volume.
Walking is an aerobic exercise which increases oxygen flow in the bloodstream and helps train your lungs, as well as eliminate toxins and waste. Because walking increases your lung volume, some symptoms associated with lung disease may also be relieved. That’s a huge plus!
Walking gives you healthier bones and joints.
Walking can provide more joint mobility, prevent loss of bone mass, and even reduce risk of fractures. The Arthritis Foundation recommends walking moderately at least 20 to 30 minutes a day on a regular basis to reduce pain in your joints, along with stiffness and inflammation.