Let’s face reality. The majority of us need to get up every morning to go to work and, in order to do our jobs well, we need to be in the best of health, both physically and mentally. Surprisingly, we can stay fit just by finding the time to go on a walk. Honestly, hear me out!
Researchers say that taking a brisk walk every day can add an additional three to seven years to your life. Striving to walk 10,000 steps a day is an even better goal and one that I’ve been hitting pretty much solidly for almost 8 weeks. Walking is a moderate form of exercise that you can do right outside your front door, at your own pace and whenever you want.
Health Benefits Of Taking A Regular Walk
It strengthens your heart. Even though walking is not necessarily a strenuous form of exercise, there is no doubt that it strengthens the heart and helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. According to the Stroke Association, a daily 30-minute walk can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 27%. Walking helps lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Some of us have successfully lost weight by maintaining a healthy diet, but most doctors say that dieting will only succeed if you combine it with regular exercise. And that exercise doesn’t really need to be anything more than walking, unless you really want to go for it! “Walking can be a simple, super-accessible way to lose weight, especially if your lifestyle keeps you chained to a desk or your car,” says Tennessee-based personal trainer and strength coach Hannah Davis.
In addition to burning calories, walking improves your mood and I find that if I’ve had a really tough day that getting out into the fresh air can let me clear my head. Walking gives you a chance to relieve the pressures of your daily routine, clear your mind, and get a dose of good old vitamin D from the sun (if it’s out!) all of which reduce your stress levels. And less stress helps you lose weight; I know I use to walk to the cupboard to find some chocolate before I started walking.
Walking Gives You Energy
If you are feeling fatigued, go for a walk. It might sound counterintuitive, but regular exercise can pay off with increased energy in the long run. Researchers have found that sedentary people who maintain a regular exercise program are less fatigued. A morning walk will improve your circulation and your mental sharpness, and give you a positive mindset to help energize you for the rest of the day.
Even though exercise is quite personal in nature, it is possible to go walking with family members and friends. No matter your speed, you can maintain a conversation while you walk. Walking is a good way to spend time with others and the activity is good for all. Not to mention you get to catch up on all the gossip, right?
Medical studies have reported that walking can reduce the risk of dementia and improve spatial memory. According to those studies, people who walk have a larger hippocampus, the area of the brain which is responsible for memory and learning.
Stay In Shape
In general, walking is good for all parts of the body. It strengthens bones and muscles, improves balance and coordination, and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. In addition to reducing excess body fat, walking can help tone up your legs and bums, and boost your vitamin D levels. They say you need to walk before you can run. Who knows where walking will take you?
Even if you don’t need to work for a living, whether you’ve inherited some wealth or just won a huge cash prize playing the Powerball lottery, you still need to stay in shape. No matter your financial wealth, you have to take care of your physical health! Get up and go for a walk!
*This is a collaborative post.