Walking is one of the most convenient and easy-to-do forms of exercise. The benefits of walking daily increase as you increase the speed and distance of your everyday walks. Even a moderately paced brisk walk can help you achieve the WHO-recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise target.
Walking must be included in everybody’s daily routine. Walking 30 mins a day can have miraculous health benefits. One should adopt walking as a means of traveling for smaller distances instead of using cars or public transport. Walking during work breaks or after every meal is extremely good for health.
Moreover, the thing about walking is that it doesn’t require any equipment other than a pair of good walking shoes. One can also customize the walking routine by changing the places and the time of once walking routine.
A walk can be a leisurely stroll or a brisk walk with varying intensity. It can also be combined with activities such as listening to audiobooks, podcasts or talking to your friends to make it even more enjoyable.
Top Health Benefits of Walking Daily
- Prevention and management of lifestyle diseases
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Improve mental health
- Help cognition and mental ability
- Aid in recovery
- Improve eyesight
- Help increase mobility
- Burns of calories
- Strengthen the immune system
- Increase energy levels
- Improve sleep quality
- Beneficial for overall longevity
Benefits of walking – Prevention and management of lifestyle diseases
A study found that taking a fifteen-minute walk after meals had a significant impact on blood sugar levels. It directly results in lower chances of obesity, diabetes, and chronically high blood pressure rate. Another study in North America showed that in a community where the average woman logged 14,000 steps per day and the average man logged 18,000 steps per day are fitter as compared to others. Also, this community had the lowest rate of obesity in North America. This study eventually grew popular and people started realizing the benefits of walking over 10000 steps per day. Walking increases your metabolism and also helps digestion, helping to ward off many lifestyle diseases.
Benefits of walking – Improves cardiovascular health
Walking for 30 min a day for 5 days a week has been shown to reduce the chances of a cardiac complication by at least 19%. The benefits of walking for 1 hour a day were shown to outweigh the benefits of walking 30 min a day. It can improve your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and energy levels. It can also fight weight gain and obesity to improve overall heart health. Walking also helps in the circulation of blood and also reduces the risks of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks.
Improve mental health
Outside walking helps rejuvenate the mind and clear out stress. Studies have shown that people who walk more, have lower signs of depression, and anxiety. It helps those suffering from mental illnesses as they are already prone to weight gain and also helps in warding off excessive weight as a result of the antipsychotic medication they need. Walking and other forms of aerobic exercises also help in releasing endorphins in our brains, that help in improving mood.
Walking Exercise benefits as an important intervention in mental health care and walking is easily one of the most fundamental and portable for these patients.
Helps in cognition and mental ability
Walking has been shown in helping with aging-related problems. It can help memory, thinking, and decision-making in the elderly population. Studies have also shown that participants who took a brief walk before tests performed better by providing answers more accurately and quickly. A 2014 Stanford study also showed that walking helps creativity and helps people think of more ideas and increases creative output. Walking increases blood flow to the brain thereby helping in bringing nutrients to the brain and flushing out the toxins and waste.
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Benefits of walking daily – Aid in recovery
Physical and mental fatigue due to workload or strength training can be at times difficult to recover from. Studies show that brisk walking can help this recovery by 65% and help reduce fatigue. Walking for 45 minutes to 60 minutes a day results in greater energy levels and a reduced sense of fatigue in individuals.
Walking in nature can help improve eyesight after a long day of sitting in front of screens. It can also help in cases such as cataracts, wet age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Moderate intensity cardio will lower intraocular pressure, a pressure in the eyes. This helps to keep the retinal cells protected and increases blood flow to the optic nerve and the retina.
Vision problems and eye disease are also caused by high blood pressure and high cholesterol. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most important steps you can take to lower both.
Because of these effects, overall eye health and vision can be improved by walking an hour a day.
Benefits of walking – Help increase mobility
Walking does have positive effects on your joints. Weight-bearing exercise, including walking, increases lubrication and delivery of nutrition to your joints. Aerobic walking benefits in reducing pain and disability from knee osteoarthritis in the elderly population. Also, it engages hip joints and knees thus strengthening two of the joints that are most problematic in old people. Additionally, taking long steps helps to stretch your hip flexors, and walking uphill stretches your calf muscles. You can also swing your arms while you walk to stretch your arms and shoulders. Walking can help stiffness in the back and core as it engages the whole body.
Benefits of walking 30 mins a day – Burns of calories
Just 30 minutes of brisk walk helps to burn 150 or more calories depending on the intensity. It further helps build up the endurance and strength required to increase the distance. In a 2016 study consisting of 35 overweight men, it was shown that walking 10,000 steps a day resulted in significant improvement in their BMI, waist circumference (WC), body fat percentage (%BF), and lean body mass (LBM).
It is recommended to walk 3 times a day for 15 min after each meal to reap the benefits of walking for weight loss.
Benefits of walking – Strengthen the immune system
Regular walks and aerobic exercises can help prevent seasonal flu, common cold, and allergies. Regular exercises improve the immunity of your body by increasing the white blood cells in your body. White Blood Cells fight off these diseases as they are the body’s main line of defense against infections. A 2005 study in the American College of Sports Medicine’s flagship journal measured that the white blood cell count increased in 15 adults immediately after a 30-minute walk. It also found a significant increase in white blood cells just after 15 min of moderate-paced walking.
It has also been found that those who walked more had a lower number of total sick leaves in a year. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tracked 1000 adults during flu season. Those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43% fewer sick days. They also have fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall and their symptoms were also less severe. So walking is the way to go if you want to avoid falling ill during seasonal changes.
Benefits of walking – Improve sleep quality
Working out strenuously can lead to a decrease in sleep quality and interruption in deep sleep phases. Walking is the perfect low-intensity exercise to wind down at night and even relax your mind before going to bed. Numerous studies have shown a positive relationship between sleep quality and walking. It indicates moderate to vigorous-intensity walking reduces offset or the time taken to fall asleep, daytime sleepiness, and also the need for sleep meds.
Being well-rested at night and sleeping without interruption will maintain energy levels throughout the day.
Benefits of walking – Beneficial for overall longevity
The American Cancer Society studied the effects of walking in people leading a sedentary lifestyle and has shown a reduction in chances of endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and 10 other types of cancers along with lower death risk from all causes of mortality. Other benefits that a daily walking habit may provide are a reduced risk of dementia, stroke, and heart disease, and strengthening muscles and bones, according to researchers. Walking therefore helps in healthy aging and also decreases the risk of premature death in adults under the age of 60.
Tips to remember before walks
Before going for a walk, you need a good and sturdy pair of walking shoes. Always make sure that the shoes support your heel arch and that the cushioning is comfortable. To reap the benefits of walking for weight loss, try to eat a healthy diet that is suitable for losing weight.