Walking is a great way to improve overall health. Unlike some other form of exercises, it is free to do and easy to fit into your daily routine. It doesn’t require any special equipment and all you need to start walking is a sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Walking offers numerous health benefits. It not only it helps staying fit but also alleviates the risk of chronic diseases. Doctors suggest that just 30 minutes of walking every day can boost muscle power, reduce body fat and even prolong your life.
As it’s the easiest and most effective way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it offers various benefits. Let's check out how walking can benefit you.
Lighten Your Mood
Studies suggest that walking can help your mental health. 30 minutes of brisk walking can help reduce anxiety, depression, anger, and hostility. It can also release natural painkilling endorphins to the body and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal.
A study from California State University showed that the more steps people took during the day, the better their moods were. As walking modifies the nervous system, it lightens the overall modes and makes you feel happier.
Moreover, when you go out walking with a friend, family member, or a partner, that interaction helps you feel connected. And this is necessary to feel the warmth of life.
Walking can help you burn calories, and there’s no rocket science in it. However, the actual calories burned depend on several factors, including how fast and how far you walk. It also depends on the place of walking. Because walking uphill can burn more calories as compared to walking on a flat surface.
Studies suggest that walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes can burn around 150-200 calories. Over time, burning calories can help you lose weight or maintain it.
After a hectic work routine, you want to sleep better at night. However, stress and anxiety can cause sleep disturbance and don’t let you sleep longer. Moreover, people with insomnia also struggle to get better sleep. But the study suggests that walking can reduce stress and pain and help you sleep better at night.
A 2019 study found that women ages 50 to 70 who took one-hour morning walk were more likely to sleep better at night than those who do not.
It is because when you walk outside, you expose yourself to the natural light. Exposing yourself to the natural light allows the circadian rhythm to enter your body and it promotes healthy sleep.
Another salient benefit of walking is that it helps you think creatively by clearing your head.
If you are feeling stuck at something or have been searching for a solution for a while, it’s better to get moving. According to the study, walking outdoors can spark creativity and help you remain more focused. Researchers found out that people who often go walking are more creative than the sitters. They concluded the research by stating walking opens up a new door of ideas and is the best way to get physical activity and increase creativity at the same time.
So, if you are stuck at the problem at work, initiating a walking meeting with friends and colleagues can help you get out of it.
Ease joint pain
Walking not only helps you burn calories, but it also strengthens your muscles and eases joint pain. Although running and jogging have their own benefits, walking can also be a win-win. A study suggests that walking for at least 10 minutes a day can stave off arthritis pains and disability in older adults.
Moreover, contrary to what one might think, walking is useful in improving joint mobility, range of motion, and strengthening the muscles. And it is because walking can increase the blood flow to the tense area and squishes the cartilage to bring nutrients and oxygen into the joints area.
The secret to a healthier and longer life is not just eating a balanced diet, it also involves walking regularly. A survey found that those who walked at a brisk pace had lower mortality risks as compared to those who do not or walk at a slower pace. Fast walkers even live 24 percent longer than average walkers.
Moreover, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society depicts that adults between the ages of 70 – 90 who are physically active lived longer. Staying active also helps you stay connected with your friends and family to get emotional support, which is essential to living a longer life.
So, start walking now, pick up the pace slowly, and ease your life.