Here are the top 10 benefits of walking! Increasing physical activity is of utmost relevance in our fast-paced society. However, sometimes our schedules and lifestyle prevent us from engaging in overly strenuous or lengthy exercise. What if we told you that squeezing that cardio into your daily routine can be as brisk as walking on a pleasant day? Moreover, walking can have a multitude of benefits for your health!
We have compiled a list below with regards to the most relevant ones.
1. From walking to weight loss
This is perhaps the most obvious benefit of walking. In order to ensure its efficiency though, you need to make sure you are in a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit means that you consume fewer calories than you burn. These calories can come in the form of drinks or food. One helpful way to keep track of your calories is by setting a goal and keeping a calorie diary. Furthermore, the longer you walk, the more calories you will burn. The faster you walk; the more calories you will burn. There are helpful apps for your smartphone that can track both calories consumed and burned. Other apps count your steps and calories burned. A recommended average for weight maintenance or weight loss is 10,000 steps a day.
2. Increased metabolism
Our metabolism is a chemical process that turns the food we consume into energy. This is done by combining the different molecules in food and drink with oxygen. This energy is later used for various operations of our body. These operations can be automatic bodily processes such as digestion. However, they can also be aerobic activities such as walking! As such, increasing your walking will increase your body’s energy demands. In order to supply the required energy, your body will burn calories from the food that you ate and the drinks that you drank. As an effect, your overall metabolic rate will be significantly improved!
3. Walking for a healthier heart
We use the term “cardio” to refer to physical activity that leaves us huffing and puffing. However, cardio such as walking is a type of aerobic activity that engages our cardiovascular system. Hence, the name. By practicing walking more frequently, we make our hearts work harder. This keeps the heart healthy and strong!
4. Increased self-esteem
This may not seem as obvious at first. However, by increasing your physical activity you will also improve your stamina and physical appearance. Therefore, you will feel more confident each time you look in the mirror! So, what are you waiting for? Walk that walk and talk that talk!
5. Walking for toned muscles
As we established by now, physical exercise improves our overall fitness. Therefore, if done on a regular basis, walking will inevitably tone your muscles too. What does this mean? As already discussed, in order for this to be successful, you need to maintain a calorie deficit. The increased energy demand imposed by walking will start to spend your bodily fat reserves at a greater rate. As a result, the muscles that were hidden under your layers of fat will become more apparent. Therefore, you will be rocking a more toned look!
6. Improved self-image
This point is related to our discussion about self-esteem. While it may not be as obvious at first, improving your physical appearance will inevitably improve the way you see yourself! You will find yourself more attractive, capable, and strong! Get that blood flowing, heart pumping, and ego skyrocketing by taking a walk!
7. Increased energy
Is your desk job making you feel sluggish? Are your daily energy levels low? One solution to this problem is simply becoming more active! The best and simplest way to do just that is by taking a walk! It does not have to be a super long walk. Aim for 5-10 minutes and the difference will become evident right away!
8. Stronger bones and joints
This is where the proverb “use it or lose it” becomes the most relevant. In order to maintain the strength of anything, you need to keep using it. The bones and joints are especially engaged in the act of walking. Therefore, make sure you use them daily by practicing this activity. This will improve both your health and quality of life.
9. Walking relives stress
Did that work e-mail give you a headache? Are things moving at a speed that makes you feel overwhelmed? Do you worry about the future a lot? Stay focused on the present moment by walking! Take in your surroundings, play some music and practice mindfulness! Your stress levels are guaranteed to decrease dramatically. Furthermore, walking will lower your stress hormone levels in general.
10. Walking strengthens the immune system
This one is a no-brainer! As already mentioned, walking will improve the health of your heart. Additionally, it will maintain the strength of your bones and joints. It can reduce your chances of getting a respiratory disease such as a cold or flu. Walking does this by flushing out bacteria from your respiratory tract (i.e., the lungs). Furthermore, walking will increase the count of your antibodies and white blood cells. This will boost your immune system like a charm!
Finally, in order to get the best results, make sure you take frequent walks. If time allows, you can increase your duration a bit each day. Alternatively, you could increase the pace of walking too. Aerobic activities are your health’s best friend! So, get walking today!