Do you feel guilty when you don’t exercise? Does your work require you to sit for long hours in front of the computer? If you find yourself nodding along, there is one way to maintain your health: walking. Devoting just thirty minutes to a regular walking routine can work wonders for your well-being. You can go on a walk with your friends, your parents, or even with your dog. It helps you socialise and develop new friendships. Daily walking can increase your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, help get rid of excess body weight and boost muscle power and endurance. So, let’s take a look at the top ten benefits of regular walking.
Top 10 Benefits Of Regular Walking
Reduces Stress and Elevates Mood
Doing any physical activity causes changes in the brain’s chemicals which further affects your mood. When you walk briskly, there is an increase in the blood flow and oxygen to the brain. The brain releases the feel-good hormones- endorphins and serotonin. These hormones reduce stress and elevate the mood. When you make your walk social; you walk with your partner, neighbour, or your good friend. The interaction makes you feel happier and connected.
Maintains Healthy Weight
Sitting for too long can cause weight gain, and walking is the best exercise. Walking regularly helps maintain your body weight. It helps burn calories, tones down your body and strengthens your muscles. According to a personal trainer in New York, “Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and preventing muscle loss, especially when we grow older”.
Strengthens Muscles and Joints
Daily walking strengthens your muscles and joints of the legs, limb-girdle, and lower trunk which helps maintain balance and stability when you grow older. It also helps maintain the flexibility of the joints. Regular walking gives your knee joints a workout, increases your muscle strength and keeps your bones strong. The more you walk, the more it strengthens bones, increases their density, and helps maintain healthy joints.
Improves Your Heart Health
Daily walking helps improve heart health by lowering your blood pressure. It improves the cholesterol and energy levels of the body. It also reduces stress and improves your mood, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. According to a study, walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week reduces your risk for coronary heart disease by about 19%. Also, walking gets your blood pumping, providing a perfect workout for your heart. Moreover, it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Why do many people go for a walk after dinner? It is because taking a short walk after having food helps maintain blood sugar levels. According to a study, a 15-minute walk three times a day improves blood sugar levels. So, try to walk for at least 15- minutes after breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Eases Joint Pain
Walking helps protect your knees and hips. The joints get lubricated when you walk, and the muscles that support the joints also get strengthened. It can help relieve arthritis pain, and walking daily for 5 to 6 miles helps prevent arthritis. It also reduces the risk of Osteoporosis.
Helps Fight Many Diseases
Sitting for long is an invitation to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you walk regularly, it helps reduce the risk of getting these diseases. People who are physically active can live longer and have a lower risk for chronic diseases. Some studies suggest that walking can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 60%. Going for a walk reduces the risk of developing colon and breast cancer by up to 20%.
Boosts Energy Levels
Brisk walking provides a boost to your energy levels. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to each part of your body. Regular walking makes you sleep better, eases muscle tension, and reduces the stiffness of the joints. It also helps build your stamina, burn excess calories, and make your heart healthier.
Benefits Your Mental Health
Regular walking helps improve your psychological and mental health, especially if you are walking outside. It promotes emotional well-being, encourages engagement, and social engagement. It also helps reduce stress, alleviates your anxiety, and increases relaxation. As you lose weight with regular walking, it boosts your self-worth and improves your self-image in a positive and active way.
Helps You Socialise More
When you step out to take a walk, you meet new people, experience new things, and form new friendships. Socialising helps you stave off isolation and loneliness, which are associated with various diseases like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, chronic stress, and premature death.
The Bottom Line
In today’s busy world, no one has the time to include exercise in their daily routine. Sitting for long hours has become a norm, and along with it diseases like diabetes, and high blood pressure are on the rise. But there is one simple solution and that is to take out some time from your schedule and go for a walk. It is a wonderful exercise for your body.