You probably know that being active is important to maintaining your health. Most of the time when we talk about being active, we think about lifting weights, running, or taking some intense aerobics class.
But did you know that walking can have a major impact on your health?
Walking Boosts Your Mood & Energy
Getting your body moving and your blood pumping releases all kinds of feel good compounds in the body, including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine; all of which can help to boost your mood and energy levels. On top of that, the simple act of doing something for yourself, like taking 20 or 30 minutes of alone time to listen to some music, a good audiobook, or just the sounds of nature while you walk, are all beneficial to mental health.
Walking Helps with Digestion
You hear people tell you all the time to take a walk after a big meal to help combat those extra calories, but the truth is, walking isn’t just about the calorie burn. It also helps to make digestion easier and more comfortable, keeping you from feeling so sluggish after that meal.
Walking Improves Cognitive Performance
Studies have shown that walking can improve a variety of cognitive performances. One study published in the Frontiers in Public Health journal stated “We can conclude that at least 10 min of walking has significant effect on mathematical problem-solving abilities in higher performing high school, but more so in lower performing students.” ¹ In other words, your brain simply works better after even just 10 minutes of walking.
Walking Increases Mobility and Reduces Pain
Numerous studies have concluded that walking can help improve mobility and reduce a variety of pains. This seems to apply to those with numerous conditions ranging from Peripheral Artery Disease to Parkinson’s, and simply those who struggle with movement from age progression.
Walking Helps Prevent and Control Diabetes
Walking (as well as any cardiovascular exercise) helps your muscles to use more glucose, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can help your body use insulin more efficiently, thereby decreasing your risk of diabetes.
Along with all these benefits, walking is much easier on the body for most people who struggle with painful conditions like arthritis, have difficulty moving in complex ways, or otherwise may not be able to handle more intense forms of cardiovascular exercise. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day doing high intensity exercises to reap numerous health benefits. Walking just 30 minutes a day can vastly improve your overall health. So get up, get out, feel better, and make your future healthier in the process!