Walking is an ideal daily exercise for a wide variety of reasons – including its beneficial impact on body, mind and spirit! Walking as a way to get daily exercise can help strengthen major organs in the body, promote bone density, boost the immune system, lead to a more positive outlook and more. Find out why you should add walking to your daily to-do list and the advantages walking has as a simple, do-anywhere exercise.
Health Benefits of Walking
Some benefits of a brisk, daily walk include:
- Less Stress. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports published a study in the January 6, 2015 issue showing that a 30-minute lunchtime walk done three times per week can boost mood and help to address stress. Next time work has your anxiety rising, try spending part of your lunch break on a walk.
- A Longer Life: The New England Journal of Medicine followed 8,000 men over 12 years; those who walked two miles a day had a nearly 50 percent drop in the risk of death.
- Lowered Risk Of Cancer: The same study found that those who walked two miles a day cut their risk of death from cancer by about 65 percent.
- Weight Loss. If you want to lose the pounds, start walking! Several studies have shown that walking between 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day – that’s about four to five miles – is a highly effective way to lose weight.
- A Boosted Brain. The National Council on Aging found that in people over the age of 60, a 45-minute daily walk at a brisk pace of a 16-minute mile significantly boosted cognitive performance. A different study found that 40 minutes of walking, three times per week, slowed the normal, age-related shrinkage of the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that consolidates short-term memory – and for those with Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the first regions to be damaged.
- A More Active Social Life. Walking can easily be a social way to get physical exercise. Dr. Weil believes that humans are highly social and meant to live our lives within families, communities and tribes. When those connections are not present, we can suffer. So next time you go for a walk, consider inviting a friend along – or better yet, join a walking group – a great way to get physical exercise while connecting with others!
Advantages of Walking:
- It can be a simple substitute for driving, especially for shorter trips. Next time you can walk to run an errand, give it a try.
- No need to buy special workout clothes – walking can be done in street clothes. All you need is a good pair of shoes!
- It can be done anywhere – indoors and out, on flat or hilly land.
- It requires no skill or practice.
- It is one of the safest exercise options, with the least chance of injury.
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