Benefits of Walking
It’s often massively underrated, but one of the most beneficial forms of exercise is walking. It’s still cardio, takes zero equipment and training, and can be done just about anywhere! And, going for a walk when you're tired may be a more effective energy booster than grabbing a cup of coffee?
The benefits of walking are endless, but we rounded up four that we think are pretty sweet!
1. It can help you live longer
No joke! New research has found that walking each day could help you live longer. You don’t need to commit to lengthy strolls every day to improve your health, fitting in steps throughout the day is proven to have a positive impact. The findings, which were presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention | Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Conference, found that people who took more steps each day had a significantly lower risk of death than those who were less active.
2. Walking boosts brainpower
More brainpower? Who doesn’t love that? In a study done by Snap Fitness UK, Dr. Ben Webb, a neuroscientist who studied at Oxford, says all exercise – regardless of how difficult it is or what type – will change the brain in a positive way, by promoting the growth of new brain cells and chemicals that affect mood, memory, and energy levels.
Another study found when kids spent 20 minutes walking on a treadmill, they did better on testing at school. Experts think these benefits could be due in part to increased blood flow to the brain that occurs with exercise.
3. It will kickstart your immune system
These days we’re all looking for ways to improve our immune system, and walking can do just that. Research shows that moderate exercise and walking ramps up our immune system. Not only that, if you do get sick, research has found that people who walk more spend less time in the hospital.
4. It boosts your mood and alleviates stress
What improves your physical health typically has a positive impact on your mental health and the same is true for walking. Walking boosts your mood and decreases stress, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). The reason? The endorphins that are produced when you move your body. Just five minutes of walking can improve your mood and can start to lower anxiety, according to the ADAA.
So why not try…
- Taking the stairs vs. elevator
- If you can, walk to the gym instead of driving
- Park farther away from your destination
- Take a quick walk in your lunch break.
Otherwise, here are some sites that offer great resources for finding trails near you:
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