I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and most important it’s good for your health. It is also something that most of us can easily add into our routine. But what exactly are the health benefits of walking?
6 Health Benefits of Walking
Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine
No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.
You will find the air quality outside, particularly if you go for a walk on the beach or in a park, will be much better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body produce all the Vitamin D it needs, even if you have just a small amount of skin showing.
Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight
Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds. I have friends who jog and run for aerobic, yet those can wreck havoc with your back and knees.
The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.
Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination
As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help.
But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. Doing these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day will increase the benefit.
Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting out, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.
Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart
Walking has all sorts of health benefits among them the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do.
The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walk out in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk.
The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day.
Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression
Last but not least, the exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm.
An even nicer way to boost your mood is to walk with a friend or loved one. Whether you are just spending time together or having a chat along the way, it is a great way to keep those blue feelings at bay.
I hope reading a bit about the health benefits convinces you that heading out for a walk each day is a great idea and that it motivates you to stick to your walking schedule until you start to see results.
Not sure how to start and plan your walking routine? I’ll be sharing tips later this week!
Is walking a type of activity you use for regular exercise?
Where do you like to go walking?