Exercise is essential for our wellbeing and health, but it does not need to be intense and long to provide effects.
Namely, walking is one of the best ways to maintain your body in good condition and positively affect your health. Scientists have proven that walking on a daily basis offers the following benefits:
1. Improved heart health
Walking offers countless health benefits, and among them, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular conditions. It improves heart health in the following ways:
- Lowers the risk of stroke and coronary issues
- Lowers the risk of heart disease and failure
- Strengthens heart rate
- Improves cholesterol balance
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boosts blood circulation
- Regulates fat balance
- Boosts oxygen circulation
- Strengthens organs
2. Improved immune function
Walking has also been found to lower the risk of developing a cold or the flu. Scientists conducted a study that tracked 1,000 adults during flu season and found that participants who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43 percent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall than those who were sedentary.
Additionally, walking alleviated their symptoms if they did get sick.
3. Strengthens joints and bones
Walking daily is one of the most efficient ways to prevent age-related degeneration by constantly adding to the strength of the muscles and joints.
- Walking is excellent in the case of lower back pain, as it relieves chronic pain and manages the discomfort more productively than other, more intense, exercises
- Walking strengthens the bones as they support the body weight and boosts their density to prevent damage or disease development
- Walking loosens up the joints and prevents stiffness, alleviating arthritis symptoms
- By strengthening the bones and muscles, it lowers the risk of fractures
- It boosts blood circulation and improves flexibility around the lower back area
- It strengthens the legs and builds up muscle and endurance, preventing joint pain
4. Weight loss
Regular walks will also help you get in shape and shed those extra pounds. Namely,
- Walking increases your metabolism
- Walking engages numerous muscles, so it helps in the process of muscle building
- Walking after meals lowers the levels of glucose in the blood
- Walking increases your heart rate and boosts the elimination of excess fat in the body
- Walking helps digestion since it increases the speed of the movement of food through the body and stomach
- Improved vision
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that our vision benefits from everyday walking. Regular walks are especially beneficial in the case of glaucoma, which is estimated to hit 111.8 million individuals between 40 and 80 years of age by the time we reach 2040, since they reduce the pressure placed on the eyes caused by the condition.
It also lowers the risk of developing glaucoma by a whopping 73%.
5. Energy boost
Taking a walk daily will keep your energy levels up, as walking increases oxygen flow through the body. Additionally, it can also increase levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, hormones that help elevate energy levels.
6. Improved creative thinking
Research has shown that walking helps clear your head and boosts creative thinking. Namely, one study involved four experiments that compared people trying to think of new ideas while they were walking or sitting.
Findings demonstrated that subjects did better while walking, particularly while walking outdoors. Walking actually opens up a free flow of ideas, and is a great way to boost creativity while being physically active at the same time.
7. Positive mental change
Walking is one of the best ways to improve your mental health, since it:
- Alleviates the symptoms of depression
- Relaxes the mind, reduces stress, and prevents anxiety
- Improves mood, since it stimulates the production of positive hormones known as endorphins
- Lowers the risk of developing degenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s, as well as other brain-related diseases, like strokes
Therefore, a regular half an hour walk will improve your health in various ways and provide many of the countless benefits of exercise!