What are the Benefits of Walking?
The benefits of walking are manifold. It is one of the easiest ways to take care of your health and well-being. Movement is the key word in the prevention and treatment of many diseases, as well as in shaping a health-enhancing lifestyle.
According to World Health Organization: “Physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for noncommunicable diseases mortality. People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.“
You can walk anywhere, you can do it for free and you don't need expensive exercise equipment for that. Walking is also not as taxing on the body as some other forms of exercise such as skiing, strength training or running can be. Walking has many positive benefits on your physical and mental health. Let's take a closer look at some of these positive effects now.
Main Proven Benefits of Walking
Reduced risk of vascular diseases
Vascular diseases are one of the most common types of health problems in the world, but studies have shown that even 30 minutes of walking a day helps reduce the risk of vascular diseases by almost a third. Walking lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and improves blood circulation and heart function, which are all important factors for the regular functioning of our organs.
Reduced risk of various types of cancer
One study reports that walking is associated with a reduced risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. For example for women, walking lowers hormone levels that decrease the risk for breast and endometrial cancers.
Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
Walking shrinks abdominal fat, reducing risk of diabetes. Excess fat around your abdomen causes inflammation in cells, making them even more resistant to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. This increases your odds of developing the disease. When you exercise, your body uses energy in the form of glucose (sugar). People who have for example type 2 diabetes, the body’s blood sugar goes too high, but exercise helps you use that sugar and, therefore, helps lower it.
Reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
Different studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Physical activity is one of the known modifiable risk factors for dementia.
Boosts immune function
Walking helps strengthen your immune system to protect against viruses during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43 percent fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.
Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat
Taking steps every day helps you burn calories, which in turn helps you lose weight. If you are not overweight, walking will help you maintain your weight and shape. Walking also improves metabolism, which is an important factor in maintaining/achieving a healthy weight.
Improves mental health
If you improve physical health, you also give a positive boost to mental well-being. Physical activity releases endorphins, which lift your mood and give you extra energy. Walking has a strong positive effect on mental and emotional health.
Reduced risk of anxiety and depression
Physical activity causes changes in the brain's blood supply and hormonal balance, which help maintain a sense of well-being, fight anxiety and depression, and improve concentration.
Helps you sleep better
Regular daytime or early morning exercise can be a great way to combat insomnia as it helps reduce anxiety and stress. Walking helps tire you out, making it easier to get quality sleep.
Boosts creative thinking
It may seem strange, but one study has proven that people who trying to think of new ideas have better success when they do it while walking instead of sitting. The researchers concluded that walking opens a free flow of ideas and is a simple way to increase creativity and get physical activity at the same time. So why not organize walking meetings instead of meetings in the office to increase employee productivity and come up with more flying ideas.
Helps you live longer
It may seem unbelievable, but on study compared active and inactive people. Those who did 10 to 59 minutes of moderate walking per week had an 18% lower risk of death during the study period compared to inactive people.
Strengthen your bones and muscles
Almost every muscle in your body works when you walk. The leg muscles naturally get the biggest load, followed by the body muscles, which have to keep the body fixed. The stronger your muscles are, the stronger your joints are. Trained muscles and joints reduce the risk of injuries and falls both during training and in everyday life. If you move your arms briskly while walking, you will also train your arm and shoulder muscles. You can also take walking sticks or lighter weights with you.
Increase energy levels
Feeling tired and are ready to grab a cup of coffee? Did you know that going for a walk when you're tired may be a more effective energy boost? Walking increases oxygen flow through the body. It can also increase levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Those are the hormones that help elevate energy levels.
Start Experiencing the Benefits of Walking Today
As you can see, walking has many different positive effects on our health and well-being, which cannot be listed all. Many benefits were not listed, because a daily simple walk of even 30 minutes really has an immeasurable list of good effects on your health.
If you also want to take care of your health, but you don't want to do it while sweating in the gym or riding a bicycle, grab your headphones, listen to some nice music or a podcast and just go. Our bodies are designed to move and believe us, your body will thank you for it! And if you want to do it in your business - check out what we do at YuMuuv and create your first team wellness challenge with us.