Everyone knows walking is an excellent exercise to maintain physical health and well-being. Most doctors and medical practitioners encourage their patients, as well as everyone else, to do at least thirty minutes a day. As it is an exercise, it is known to increase your stamina and cardiovascular endurance, develop and maintain bone strength, especially those in the lower limbs, and helps reduce excess body fat.
However, there is more to walking aside from its positive effect on overall health. While the most known benefits of walking are on the physiological side, a great walk is also known to improve one’s mental, social, and emotional health as well. Today, you are about to learn ten of the most amazing benefits of a daily walk to your overall health.
Walking at least ten minutes a day is known to lower and regulate hormones responsible for stress and anxiety. Walking after a weighty argument or a distressing experience helps in controlling the mood, reduces anxiety, and makes one focus on the more essential things. Also, those who tend to walk usually have better control of their emotions than those who don’t.
Those who regularly walk find themselves getting more energy when they take a stroll in the park or the beach than getting a coffee at the nearest café. An article from the ScienceDirect website said that casual stair walking can have transient energy effects that are better than a low dose of caffeine.
As walking improves and maintains physical health, it will also help slow the first signs of aging, especially with bone and muscle strength. Studies have also shown how walking at an increased pace decreases the risks of overall death by twenty percent (20%), and brisker walks increases that percentage by four percent more (24%). The increased chances are associated with improved cardiovascular health and overall well-being.
While a walk in the park clears your mind from distracting thoughts, it also opens new ideas, focus on the most intricate details, and generates better and more creative views. A study by the American Psychological Association reports that walkers have better thought structures and productivity than those who are merely sitting.
With the toned body obtained from regular walks every day, you would feel prouder of your physique. This self-recognition enables your confidence levels and increases it every time you go out and see people appreciate your looks and stature.
If you are someone with body coordination issues, you will find walking as an excellent practice for balance. Aside from it being an excellent exercise for growth and development of limb muscles and bones, it also increases muscle control that should help you stand still and trip less often.
Those who are looking for techniques on how to manage their cravings for sugar and sweets will find walking an effective control exercise. Researchers have discovered how overweight and obese individuals win control over their sugar cravings by maintaining at least fifteen minutes of walking. It is also observed that normal-weight individuals who walk regularly have lesser desires for sweets and pastries compared to those who don’t.
Those who walk at least thirty minutes a day tend to choose better diet plans to maintain a healthy lifestyle than those who do not walk at all. It is related to the mental focus that walking brings and its inclination towards shaping oneself through a healthier lifestyle.
As walking improves one’s mood, it also helps depressed individuals battle anxiety attacks more effectively. Although it is not the way out from those anxious periods in life, walking is a great coping mechanism for trauma and a purposeful diversion from depression.
If you are planning to walk from home to the office, have a morning hike or pet stroll, or even enjoy the morning breeze at the park, do it. Walking is best known to make anyone feel better. It is also an exciting social activity, a mind-boosting daily routine, and a great way to appreciate the best things in life. In other words, walking makes you feel better with everything.
So, go ahead! Make walking a habit and experience the best in your body, mind, and perceptions in life.
Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry,8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a
Chertoff, Jane, Fisher, J. Keith, M.D. (2018) What Are the Benefits of Walking? Healthline (online) https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-walking
Stamatakis E, Kelly P, Strain T, et al (2018) Self-rated walking pace and all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality: individual participant pooled analysis of 50,225 walkers from 11 population British cohortsBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2018; 52:761-768.
Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(4), 1142–1152. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036577
Ledochowski, L., Ruedl, G., Taylor, A. H., & Kopp, M. (2015). Acute effects of brisk walking on sugary snack cravings in overweight people, affect and responses to a manipulated stress situation and to a sugary snack cue: a crossover study.PloS one,10(3), e0119278.