Are You A Couch Potato? Check Out These Amazing Health Benefits from Walking Every Day
Most people want to improve their overall well-being but did you know you can receive amazing healthy benefits by just adding walking every day?
What are the health benefits of walking every day?
Why should you walk every day?
The health benefits of walking every day are many. When it comes to exercise, some people may not think of walking as a way to get in shape. Someone actually told me in a recent conversation that walking does not count as exercise. You may be surprised by the benefits that come with walking on a regular basis.
Incorporating walking into your everyday routine is a great way to not only improve but also maintain your overall health. This is especially important as we age. Life can get busy and we tend to neglect ourselves, so why not start now.
Here are 7 amazing health benefits that you can benefit from personally by walking every day.
1. Walking Daily Is Known To Be A Mood Booster
Walking helps to release “feel-good” endorphins in the brain which has a positive impact on your overall mood. If you find that you are feeling bored or tired, put on your walking shoes and take yourself outside for a brisk walk in the fresh air.
Going for a brisk walk will not only improve your mood but can reduce or even eliminate any negative feelings you may be carrying around. Try it and see for yourself how you can be refreshed. Besides, it does not cost you any money and doesn’t require any special equipment. A win-win situation.
2. Walking Every Day Lowers Your Blood Pressure
As we age, our risk of high blood pressure can increase. Or if you already have high blood pressure, walking could be just the prescription you need. Incorporating physical activity into our daily routines, such as brisk walking, can help control blood pressure.
Studies show that regular exercise, such as walking, makes your heart stronger. Your heart pumps more blood with less effort and this puts less force on your arteries, thus lowering your blood pressure. Getting enough exercise may even reduce the need for blood pressure medication for some individuals. Like anything, if you want the lasting benefits, you need to be regular and consistent. Small changes in your daily routine can bring long term benefits.
3. Stronger Muscles and Bones from Walking Every Day
If you want healthy bones, especially as we age, exercise is a major player in not only treating but also preventing osteoporosis.
According to the National Institute of Health, “Not only can exercise improve your bone health, it can also increase muscle strength, coordination, and balance, and lead to better overall health.”
You have probably heard that resistance and weight-bearing exercises are the best ways to build stronger bones. Weight-bearing exercises can include activities such as walking, jogging, hiking or dancing. Also, doing resistance training with weights is good for strengthening bones.
Walking is the perfect exercise, to begin with, if you are just starting on your fitness journey and it’s low impact. Consider adding in weight lifting exercises to your daily strolls as you get into better shape and that will help you develop strong muscles and bones.
4. Daily Walks Improve Brain Function
The benefits of being physically active are numerous and one benefit is improved brain function. According to Harvard Health Publishing, another benefit is that “exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.”
Admittedly, they are not sure which exercise is the best but most of their research has been done on walking. Dr. McGinnis says, “It’s likely that other forms of aerobic exercise that get your heart pumping might yield similar benefits.”
If you want to improve your memory then, exactly how much exercise should you do? Study participants took part in 120 minutes of brisk walking a week. If that is more than you can do to start, then just start with walking a few minutes each day. Add on 5 or 10 minutes each week until you reach your desired goal.
Go ahead, test it out and see if your memory and thinking ability improves.
5. Better Quality Sleep from Walking
We all know from experience, the importance of getting a good night’s rest. Sometimes it is not always easy getting the quality of sleep we desire. Restless nights and lack of sleep can really affect our health adversely. Good news is that going for a good brisk walk is just what the doctor ordered.
Research shows that exercise not only improves the quality of your sleep but also time spend in the deep sleep or when our body restores itself.
6. Walking Daily Contributes to Longer Life
Researchers have found that all levels of walking, even low levels, were linked with a lower mortality rate. Alpa Patel, Ph.D., and lead investigator of the study says, “Going for a walk at an average to brisk pace can provide people with a tremendous health benefit. It’s free, easy, and can be done anywhere.”
The bottom line is just getting out there and do what you can and slowly increase your activity. Get your walking shoes on and head outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
I set a personal goal for myself to walk 5k every day for one month. Sometimes it meant that I had to split my walk into the morning and evening if I was short on time, but it worked. At the end of the month, I felt great and was happy I completed my goal with the exception of missing two days. Set your own personal walking goals and you will be surprised what you can accomplish.
7. Joining A Walking Group Will Help You Be Committed
New research shows that individuals who walk in groups are more likely to stick to their exercise routine. Not only that, but participants also enjoy social benefits.
Physically healthy adults who participated in walking groups were more likely to continue exercising at the end a six-month study compared to those who walked alone or not at all.
Additional studies also showed those who participated in group walking enjoyed a better quality of life.
Overall Benefits to Walking Every Day
- Boost your mood
- Lower blood pressure
- Stronger muscles and bones
- Improve brain function
- Better quality sleep
- You will live longer
- Walking with friends or a group will help you stay committed
Hopefully, this helps to get you motivated to set some time aside each day and lace up your shoes and get out there.
If you want to keep track of your activity like steps, distance and calories burned, the easiest and most helpful is using a fitness tracker like this one.
What are the greatest benefits that you experience from walking every day?