Getting enough daily exercise can be tricky if you’re not into sports or you live in an area where it’s difficult to get to a gym or local community center. However, walking is one of the best and easiest ways to get plenty of daily physical activity. Whether you go outside or head over to your nearest shopping mall. Plus, walking every day can benefit your health in many ways beyond helping you slim down and build muscle.
Take a look at these 8 benefits of walking every day!
1. Physical Fitness
One of the major benefits of walking every day is that it improves your physical fitness. Physical fitness refers to your ability to physically perform exercise and daily tasks. This relates to anything from bone density, joints, muscles, heart health and more.
Although walking is not considered to be the most exhaustive exercise, it has been shown to significantly improve your physical fitness. One study found that walking every day (or regularly) improves joint flexibility and bone density. This reduces the risk of injuries from physical activities, especially amongst those who are older.
2. Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
People who walk 30 minutes every day are less likely to develop a number of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
For example, a study found that walking more than 4 hours per week was significantly correlated with a lower risk of hospitalization for cardiovascular disease in both men and women.
3. Better Brain Health
Brain health is all about preserving the brain function while you are young before the higher risks of neurological problems arise. This refers to anything from focus, thinking, memory and more.
Recent studies have shown that the practice of walking regularly could prevent or delay cognitive decline. Moreover, a 2016 study revealed that those who walk at least 40 minutes per day were at less risk of developing neurological conditions.
4. Weight Lost
One of the top benefits of walking is its impact on weight loss. For instance, regular walkers have nearly a 50 percent lower rate of obesity compared to those who do not walk regularly. And it’s not just lower body weight, either; regular walking can help you maintain muscle mass and bone density, which slows down your body’s natural aging process. The end result? More energy and better overall health which are two major factors supporting weight loss.
In a recent study which explored the effects of walking on weight loss reported that walking over 12 weeks has resulted in a significant reduction in weight and fat percentage.
5. Improves Your Mood
Another great benefit of walking is that it can improve your mood. If you’re feeling down, just take a walk outside. A study from Health Promotion Perspectives found that walking just for 10 minutes a day improved mood and reduced stress.
Getting outside may lower stress levels and boost feelings of well-being. In addition to helping your mood, walking can also ward off depression. When you get your heart pumping, it releases endorphins—natural feel-good chemicals that ease pain and improve your sense of well-being.
Get out and about to feel happier and more relaxed.
6. Increases Bone Density
Weight-bearing exercises, like walking, help strengthen bones and reduce your risk for osteoporosis later in life. It also keeps your muscles strong, so you can live an active lifestyle as you age.
One of the studies which investigated the benefits of walking on bone density found that people who walked just one mile a day had greater bone density than people who didn’t. And all these benefits don’t just impact your physical health; they contribute to a longer and happier life overall.
7. Protects Against Cancer
Getting out and walking more each day is a great way to keep your body healthy. And while exercise alone won’t cure cancer, studies have shown that maintaining a regular exercise routine can improve survival rates for many types of cancer. For example, a 2014 study found that walking or jogging for a year or longer reduces the risk of brain cancer.
If you want to protect yourself from developing cancer, one smart way to do it is by walking every day. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special clothes—just make sure to put on good shoes (more than likely you already have a pair) and hit up your local mall or park! The longer you walk, the better—you should aim for at least 30 minutes per session with more being even better.
8. Improves Your Immune System
If you’re sick a lot, walking can give your immune system a boost. Why? Scientists think it’s because exercise improves blood flow, which helps get infection-fighting white blood cells where they need to go. Not only that, but new research shows just two 30-minute walks per week are enough to improve immune function in people who are overweight or obese.
You don’t have to be an athlete to see benefits either; anyone who’s active on a regular basis is better able to ward off illnesses and diseases than their sedentary counterparts.
The health benefits of walking are nearly endless. Not only does it strengthen your bones and muscles, but it can also help you achieve a healthy weight, reduce stress levels, manage blood pressure and boost your mood. For many people struggling with depression or chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia or arthritis, walking is often an ideal form of physical activity that doesn’t require additional equipment or extensive training.
Start by taking small steps toward incorporating more daily movement into your life—you’ll be glad you did!