Did you know that a 30-minute walk can provide plenty of other benefits for your overall health that reach far beyond weight loss? Remember to make sure you stay hydrated even if the temperatures are mild.
Walking for fitness can be a great activity for beginners looking to start a daily exercise routine so whether you’re new to walking or an experienced runner, these six surprising health benefits are proven to make a daily walk worth your while:
1. IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Researchers found in a recent study that taking a daily walk can boost your mood which can help decrease depression, negate the need for medication and put your emotions in an overall happier place.
2. INCREASE BONE DENSITY
As you age, bone density can decrease and make an injury from a fall much more severe. Studies have shown that walking can improve bone density and stop the loss of bone mass that is often associated with osteoporosis. Walking for up to 40 minutes a day may also help to reduce hip fractures and other injuries related to falls.
3. LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Walking has been shown to have positive effects on the overall cardiovascular health, including hypertension so consider a consistent walking routine. It can help lower your blood pressure and prevent heart disease. Although walking can be a safer alternative to more vigorous forms of exercise, anyone with existing heart conditions will still want to consult a doctor before beginning an exercise routine.
4. BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
Walking is a great way to boost your metabolism. It can help reduce fat around the waistline and prevent metabolic syndrome — the latter of which results from high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Walking has been shown to reverse this condition and boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories during the day when you’re not exercising. The key? Try to up the pace by including 1–2 minutes of briskly walking every five minutes during your daily walk to get started.
5. AID RECOVERY
Because walking is a low-to-moderate intensity exercise that gets the blood flowing and raises the heart rate, it can be an ideal recovery activity in between harder workouts. It is ideal even for those experienced with high-intensity activities and are fit because your body still needs time to rest and recover between workouts. Walking can also help ease any joint, back and muscular pain associated with more extreme forms of exercise.
6. REDUCE STRESS
Get outside and exercise! It's one way to clear your mind and distract yourself from your current problems because we all know that stress has a way of creeping into our lives. Whether you take a short walk around the neighborhood with your dog or head to the trails or track for a brisker workout, try to be more aware of your body, your surroundings and all the other good parts of life that are often ignored. This meditative state can have other positive effects on your health and well-being.