Staying in shape can be difficult, but it’s something that everyone should do to ensure their health. However, you don’t need to join a gym or run five kilometers every day. Regular walks can be enough to improve your health and keep you fit. The health benefits of walking regularly are numerous.
Aside from improving your mental and cardiovascular health, as well as aiding in weight loss, walking regularly can just be a great way to get some fresh air into your lungs and get some much-needed vitamin D from direct sunlight. Even just getting out of your home and moving around can be enough to improve your mood and well-being.
These are eight benefits of walking that you may experience if you walk even just 30 minutes each day, you’ll start to experience improvements in your physical and mental health. Walking is recommended by the Mayo Clinic as a low impact exercise, and it is bound to benefit you in the following ways:
1. Improves mental health: One of the main benefits of walking is that it can improve your mood. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
2. Effectively aids in weight loss: Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that walking regularly can reduce the effects of 32 obesity-promoting genes in the human body.
3. Decreases the risk of certain cancers: Two studies from the American Society for Clinical Oncology showed that walking three hours a week can reduce the risk of dying from breast or bowel cancer by half.
4. Helps to boost your immune system: Walking at least 30 minutes a day was shown to increase the level of cells in the body’s immune system in a study done at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
5. Can be effective in preventing diabetes: The American Diabetes Association states that “aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better,” and this can include a daily brisk walk after meals.
6. Reduces cravings for sweets and the need for “stress eating”: Studies from the University of Exeter found that walking for just 15 minutes can help to curb cravings for sugary foods. It was also found to reduce cravings during stressful situations.
7. Highly benefits cardiovascular health: One of the benefits of walking is promoting heart health. A study from the Harvard Medical School found that walking roughly 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30%.
8. Helps with mobility into advanced age: A study by the American Medical Association concluded that one of the greatest benefits of walking is that it promoted better physical health in people aged 70 to 89. Those who got regular exercise in their younger years dramatically decreased their chances of having any physical disability.