Benefits of a Daily Walk
Walking is a natural activity that almost anyone can do. There are numerous health benefits gained from walking.
Your overall health, brain, waistline, and mental health are all enhanced by walking.
And National Take a Walk in the Park Day (March 30) is a good time to enjoy the beauty of a park or nature trail near your home and reinforce or start a new walking habit.
Here are just some benefits of a daily walk.
1. Control blood glucose levels. A 15-minute walk after a meal has been shown to lower blood sugar in those with glucose control issues. The risk of type-2 diabetes is lowered by 60% in those that walk daily.
2. Enhance brain health. Walking has been shown to boost grades, memory, and creativity. Who knew you could get smarter, slimmer, and healthier from the simple act of taking a walk?
3. Space to think and make decisions. A brisk walk takes you out of your home or office. A change in scenery can clear your mind and provide the mental space necessary to make a wise decision.
4. Strengthen your heart. Even a modest pace is enough to keep your heart in good shape. Walking has been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol. Walking is also good for your blood pressure. Walking reduces your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
5. Control weight. A walk won’t undo the ravages of a triple bacon cheeseburger, but it does burn a few calories. More importantly, walking helps to keep your metabolism in shape. Excess calories are dealt with more effectively.
6. Economical and easy. Aside from a pair of shoes, and even shoes are optional, you don’t need anything to go for a walk. There’s no complex skill to learn or expensive equipment to purchase. Walking is an option for nearly anyone, regardless of age or current fitness level. It’s easy on your joints and carries a minimal risk of injury.
7. Boost your mood. If you’re feeling a little blue, a short walk can give a needed boost to your morale. Those that walk regularly report having a better mood than those that don’t.
8. Reduce stress. Take a walk the next time you’re feeling stressed. Walking attacks stress in two ways. It can take your mind off your challenges. It also metabolizes the biochemical and neurotransmitters that create the physiological feelings and symptoms of stress.
9. Increase lifespan. The number of years you can expect to gain from 2.5 hours of walking each week is at least 3-4. Not bad for results from an activity that most people find enjoyable.
Add a daily walk to your routine. After dinner is a good time for many. Take the entire family out for a stroll. You’ll all benefit from the walk and the time spent together. If you regularly avoid exercise, a simple walking routine can be an effective way to get the exercise you need without going to a gym.
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