According to recent survey results, around 80 % of Americans don’t work out enough! Although fitness is currently on the rise and more and more people engage in some form of physical activity, most adults still fail to fit in both aerobic and strength exercise.
When people look for a way to improve their health or lose weight, simply walking doesn’t seem like it is going to be enough. However, this form of physical activity is beneficial and its effects are just amazing!
How Walking Benefits Health
A recent study done by the London School of Economics and Political Science shined the spotlight on walking as one of the very best ways to prevent or for fight off weight gain.
Also, walking has been associated with protection against conditions and diseases like:
- Depression and anxiety disorders
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Heart disease, hypertension, coronary artery disease
- Hormonal imbalances
- PMS symptoms
- Thyroid disorders
6 Health Benefits of Walking
1. Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
Interestingly, walking is sometimes even more effective than intense workouts regarding weight maintenance or loss. This even applies to rigorous activities that increase the heart rate, such as cycling, dancing, running, aerobic exercises, and swimming.
Although it doesn’t burn tons of calories, it still helps. Walking at a fast pace doesn’t use a good amount of bodily energy, but it is a great exercise hack to stick with, as its mental benefits don’t wear out.
2. Low-Impact and Easy on Joints
Regular walking promotes joint health by improving circulation and helping the lymphatic system function at optimal level. The joint cartilage doesn’t have direct blood supply, but as you move, more synovial joint fluid circulates, sending nutrients and oxygen to the injured areas. According to the Arthritis Foundation, physical inactivity is one of the major reasons for soreness and achiness.
3. Good for Improving and Preserving Heart Health
According to a 2013 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, briskly walking positively affects the resting heart rate, oxygen consumption, exercise capacity, blood pressure, and the quality of life. The study followed 1,000 patients and discovered that walking benefits in the majority of participants, offering protection against strokes, coronary heart disease, and heart attacks.
4. Fights Depression And Improves Your Mood
Any form of exercise is beneficial as a natural anti-depressant and natural remedy for mood-related problems because they release endorphins in the brain.
Walking also keeps you alert and sharp as you age! It is linked to a decrease in Alzheimer`s disease, memory loss, dementia, and other forms of mental decline. According to a study by the University of California San Francisco, walking is even linked to longevity and a longer life span.
5. Supports Bone Health Into Older Age
Walking on a regular basis helps inhibit the loss of bone mass as you age. The risk for porous bone diseases decrease when you walk and move the body, as you are fighting gravity and forcing the bones to strengthen and support your body weight. As an added bonus, this lowers the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
6. Can Be Done Anywhere and Doesn’t Require Equipment
Walking can be done anywhere, it doesn’t require any equipment, and it costs nothing! All you need is half an hour or hour of your time, motivation, and dedication! In fact, even shorter walks contribute to better heart, hormonal, and muscular functioning.