How often do you walk? Most people don’t get enough exercise in their day-to-day lives. But who would have thought something as simple as clocking in a 15-minute walk every day would even have significant benefits? The good news is that walking can provide a surprising array of health benefits, and it’s one of the easiest exercises to add to your daily routine!
Walking Can Improve Your Mood
One of the best reasons to start walking is to improve your mood. Research shows that regular aerobic exercise, such as walking, releases endorphins and serotonin—chemicals in the brain that promote happiness and well-being. Walking also helps you take a break from work and other daily stressors and reduce anxiety and tension.
Walking Can Increase Your Lifespan
In addition to improving your mood, walking can also help increase your lifespan. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who walked briskly for at least 30 minutes per day were less likely to die prematurely from any cause than those who didn’t walk regularly.
Another study on how centennials reach this impressive age milestone showed that their daily routine included long walks to keep fit and healthy.
Walking Eases Joint Pain and Promotes Weight Loss
If you’re looking for an effective way to ease joint pain or promote weight loss, look no further than walking! Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help strengthen muscles and bones without putting too much stress on your joints. Regular walking can even help reduce the risk of arthritis and other chronic diseases. And if you’re looking to lose weight, consider adding a brisk walk to your daily routine—you may be surprised at how quickly the pounds start melting away!
Walking Strengthens Bones and Muscles
Walking is a great way to strengthen bones and muscles. When you walk regularly, you’re constantly using different muscle groups in your body, which helps keep them strong and healthy. Additionally, walking can help improve balance and coordination, essential for preventing falls as we age.
Walking Can Improve Sleep
Regular exercise will help you sleep better at night. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is naturally boosted by exercise. In a study published on WebMD, postmenopausal women who are physically active snooze better at night than sedentary women. Another study also found that daily walking had a significant effect on sleep quality and duration for healthy adults.
Walking Reduces Your Sweet Tooth
Studies from the University of Exeter found that 15 minutes of walking can curb chocolate cravings and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat during stressful situations.
Walking Reduces the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
According to researchers, any physical activity can lower the risk of breast cancer. A study conducted by the American Cancer Society explicitly focused on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than those who walked three hours or less. Women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or taking supplemental hormones, also benefited from walking.
Eager to Start Your New Walking Routine?
Here’s a program you could follow to incorporate into your daily habits:
Monday to Saturday: Walk 10 minutes at a moderate pace.
Sunday: Take a stroll for 20 minutes.
Tuesday to Friday: Walk for 25 minutes at a moderate pace one day, 30 minutes the next.
Saturday: Walk 20 minutes fast.
Sunday: Walk 45 minutes at a moderate pace.
Tuesday to Friday: Walk 45 minutes at a moderate pace one day and 50 minutes the next day.
Saturday: Walk 50 minutes at a fast pace.
Sunday: Walk 60 minutes at a moderate pace.
A Parting Reminder
Become a regular walker, and you will establish a routine. When you have a routine, you are more likely to continue the activity and adopt healthy habits. Sedentary behavior is unhealthy for our bodies. Any type of movement is better than none at all and finding a type of movement that works best for your age and fitness is key to feeling empowered and motivated to stick with it.