Last Updated on February 16, 2023 by Lori Geurin
Walking is undeniably one of the most popular physical activities in the world, and with so many benefits there’s no wonder why! It’s a great low-intensity workout that can be done by people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. It’s been estimated that as many as 40% of adults around the world don’t meet their recommended levels for physical activity and walking is the perfect remedy.
And even if you only have 10 minutes to spare – or just want to get out in nature without having to drive anywhere – walking is an excellent form of exercise. It’s not only beneficial for your physical health but your mental well-being too.
You can walk on your lunch break at work, take a long walk with your family after dinner every night before bedtime, or go for walks during your weekends off. Walking can fit into a busy schedule even if your day is already packed. So if you’re looking to get more physical activity in your life, here are 7 amazing benefits of walking.
- 7 Benefits of Walking for Better Health
- Does walking reduce belly fat?
- Is walking better than running?
- How do I start walking?
- Conclusion – Walking for Better Health
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7 Benefits of Walking for Better Health
Today, I want to share with you the 7 benefits of walking. It’s a fun low-intensity exercise and can be done by almost anyone. Here’s how walking can improve your professional and personal life!
1. Improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
Walking improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure, which helps the body’s cardiovascular system.
There are over 50 studies confirming the cardiovascular benefits of walking. In 2003, a study was done on over 21,000 subjects in Finland. The results showed that those who participated in regular physical activity (walking and other activities) had the lowest blood pressure.
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2. Reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Walking can help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers studied a large group of women and found that those who walked regularly were at significantly lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The lower your blood sugar level, the better.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) even says that walking is a great way to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Plus, if you already have type 2 diabetes, walking can help lower your A1C levels – an important indicator of how well-controlled your disease is.
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3. Improves sleep quality
Walking has been found to have a positive impact on sleep quality. A study was done to find out if walking in the morning or evening for 20 minutes can help people who have problems sleeping. Researchers found that people who walked had better sleep than those who skipped walking.
It’s thought that the act of going from an upright position to lying down, combined with a short period of vigorous exercise, may help strengthen your muscles and nerves so you’re better able to relax when it’s time for bed.
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4. Increases weight loss
This makes sense, as aerobic exercises like brisk walks help to speed up your metabolism. This means that you burn more calories the longer and harder you exercise.
Walking helps you preserve lean muscle mass. And you’ve probably heard that the more muscle you have, the better for metabolism.
It’s also important to note that walking has been found to be especially effective for weight maintenance, meaning it helps you stay fit even after you’ve reached your goal weight.
5. Protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Some research suggests that taking frequent, brisk walks may help people with a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Physical exercise keeps blood flowing through your body and brain which is helpful because Alzheimer’s causes the brain to lose neurons.
Doctors did a study. They found that if you walk 30 minutes a day for five days of the week, then your risk of getting dementia is less likely to happen.
6. Relieves stress and anxiety
One of the biggest benefits that come with walking is that it can help to relieve stress and anxiety. When you walk, it brings your body into a state of “flow” that allows you to feel less anxious and more relaxed. When we are in this state, our parasympathetic nervous system becomes activated, and this helps to reduce our stress.
Walking is also a good way to reduce mental fatigue.
7. Enhances mental health
Walking increases your mental fitness and is a great source of physical activity for people who are unable to participate in other forms of exercise.
A recent study showed that people who walk have higher levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) than those who do not. BDNF protects the brain from degeneration and may help prevent depression.
Does walking reduce belly fat?
Walking can reduce abdominal fat, known as visceral fat. Walking also increases fitness levels and builds muscle mass and bone density.
Is walking better than running?
This is a really good question. From the standpoint of health, there are some advantages to walking and some advantages to running. It’s really up to your preference and what you enjoy doing!
How do I start walking?
Starting a new exercise program can be a challenge. But, it just takes some motivation! You’ve got this! Make it a part of your daily routine, and you’ll have built-in motivation.
Setting goals for yourself and making small changes to your current routine also helps. Find others who want to improve their health by walking and meet up.
Conclusion – Walking for Better Health
With so many activities vying for our time, it can be difficult to incorporate physical activity into your schedule. Walking is a fun way to exercise. You can do it anywhere!
Walking is a great low-intensity activity for nearly anyone. It’s good for your body and soul and can improve mental health, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and more! Make walking a daily habit and reap the benefits.
Have you noticed any benefits from walking? How have you seen it improve your health? Share below!