The incredible health benefits of walking.
Walking is so much a part of what we do that we tend to take it for granted. After all, it’s what humans are built for. It’s how we get around. How we make it from the TV to the fridge, or across the road to the shops. But can it compare to a sweaty session at the gym or a few miles on the bike? The truth is, it absolutely can.
Walking is free, accessible to nearly all of us and is a great way to get active and stay healthy. For complete newbies to the fitness world, it’s a fantastic entry point into exercise and for dedicated health nuts, it’s essential to maintaining an active lifestyle. Just an extra 30 minutes of walking a day could change your life. And I’m not exaggerating. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of walking and some tips on upping your step count.
It can help you lose weight
Many of us want to lose a few extra pounds and walking can help us burn extra calories each day. It’s ideal even for the most inactive of us. Start slow. If you can do ten minutes a day. Do! You can walk around the block, around your local park, or even around your living room if the weather is terrible. Just start with what you can comfortably achieve and slowly increase your walking as your fitness improves. Combined with a moderately healthy diet you’re bound to see an impact on the scales and on your waistline.
WALKING TIP: The right footwear will make walking easier and more enjoyable. Make sure you grab some comfy and supportive trainers.
It helps to boost your mood
A great reason for walking more is that it makes you happy. Yes, research has shown that even if we are walking aimlessly or towards something we don’t want to do, it still makes us happier than any other form of transport. It also increases exposure to sunlight and vitamin D, a known mood booster!
WALKING TIP: If you struggle to motivate yourself to get out and get walking, arrange to meet a friend for a stroll. The social aspect can help to keep you on track.
It improves your stamina
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to becoming more active and you don’t need to jump into complicated fitness routines right away. Slowly build up your walking routine over time and as you become fitter you will find it easier to walk (or even run) further than you thought possible. It also improves your overall cardio capacity and acts as a great foundation for more complex exercises with a cardio element.
WALKING TIP: Use a fitness tracker to monitor your steps and set yourself a target every day. It’s a fun way to gamify walking and make it more enjoyable.
It supports good heart health
Walking is a whole-body workout but its particularly good for your heart, especially if you are older. Essentially walking gets the blood pumping, helping to strengthen the muscles of the heart without putting it under intense strain. This makes it a fantastic exercise for people over 55. But it’s beneficial at any age, so get out there and walk!
WALKING TIP: Use your new walk schedule to explore your community and discover new things about your local environment.
It could fight dementia
A recent Canadian study showed that walking was beneficial for patients suffering from dementia. Those that walked for 3 hours each week showed improved brain function. This astonishing finding shows that walking could positively impact the body in ways we aren’t even aware of.
WALKING TIP: Try to replace part of your daily commute with walking. Even if it’s just a small stage of your journey – it all adds up to a healthier lifestyle.
If walking isn’t part of your routine already. Why not? Put one foot in front of the other and stroll your way into better health. I’d love to know what part walking plays in your fitness routine, so why not reach out and share your stories on any of our social media channels? Until then, keep it moving and keep being awesome.