Walking can provide you with a whole host of benefits, from a trim waist to a stronger heart. As a low-impact exercise that doesn’t require any equipment, walking is accessible to most people and an easy way to maintain your health. Plus, you only need to walk for 150 minutes a week.
How walking can benefit your physical and mental health
Even if you feel like you don’t have enough time to work out during the day, there are many ways you can sneak a bit of walking into your daily routine. Here’s why you should do just that.
Walking burns calories
Any form of movement burns calories, whether you’re cycling, running, or playing tennis. A 120 lbs, 5’4” female who walks for 60 minutes will burn 114 calories a day. But if you want to up the intensity and the calories you’ll burn, you can walk for longer, faster, or up a sloping hill.
How to walk more: If you need help getting started, join Physeek, an online fitness community in India. You’ll make plenty of friends that can give you the motivation you need to stay fit. You can also check a calorie calculator to have an estimate idea on how much calories needed to maintain or lose weight.
Walking helps the heart
Cardio exercises, like walking, can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease. If you walk more than 30 minutes a day, you may be able to decrease your risk further. To top it off, walking can lower your blood sugar, which can help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and prostate cancer.
How to walk more: Start walking to work, to the mall, or to the store when doing your errands.
Walking increases energy
You may be dreading your morning walk when you first start, but if you push through it, you’ll soon see your energy improve. Walking can increase the amount of oxygen you receive in your brain, which increases your stores of mood-boosting hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.
How to walk more: If you can’t walk to work and you have a desk job, try the next best thing and buy a desk cycle. It’s better if you move, but a desk cycle can still help you get fit.
Walking eases joint pain
Walking lubricates your joints, especially in your knees and hips. If you already have joint pain or arthritis, walking every day can reduce your symptoms. As another positive, walking tones your legs and improves your strength, which can also offer added protection to your joints.
How to walk more: Do you have a dog? Consider walking them twice a day. Not only will your heart, legs, and energy benefit, but your dog will be more than happy to join you on your walk.
Walking boosts immunity
A consistent exercise routine, even if it’s mostly low impact, can reduce your risk of getting a cold. You can reduce the amount of sick days you take and the number of respiratory tract infections you contract by walking. If you do get sick, your symptoms are less severe.
How to walk more: Need to be reminded to walk? Buy a FitBit or a fitness watch and app.
Walking boosts creativity
Walking can clear your head, reduce stress, and leave more room for creative thoughts. You’re more likely to come up with new ideas on your walk, probably because your blood is flowing and you feel more relaxed. So if you’ve run out of ideas, take a walk or two around the block.
How to walk more: Switch up your walking trails so you’re never bored on your walk. If you live in a safe area, wear headphones and listen to music or a podcast to stay attentive.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder and managing director of Psychreg.