You hear it all the time – Walk More. Why is it that so many of us struggle with moving our bodies on a regular basis? The health benefits of walking more far outnumber the reasons not to do it. Less stress, enhanced mood, lower blood pressure, weight management. This list goes on.
We humans tend to make it complicated. But, trust me it’s not when you start slowly, and create a habit that you will look forward to.
When you want to start to move your body, walking is great way to start and the simplest way to move on a daily basis. It costs very little to get started and you can walk pretty much anywhere. All you need is 15 minutes of your day to start and the motivation to get going. For maximum benefits to your health, you want to work up to 30 to 60 minutes per day.
So, let’s talk about the benefits of walking each day. Did you know that walking goes way beyond weight loss and improving your mood? Here are five reasons you should start walking today:
Add Quality Years to your Life
The More Steps you take, the healthier your heart becomes and you lower your mortality rate. Studies show that a good 30-minute walk can help you lower your death rate by 65%. There is no need for it to be a high intensity walk – a low intensity walk is very effective in helping you live longer.
No one is ever too old to start. No matter your age or current health, you can benefit from walking and cut your chances of a stroke in half. People over the age of 65 that walk for 4 hours per week (that’s a little over 30 minutes a day) lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Grow your Brain
Research tells us that daily walking increases the region of the brain that is responsible for our memory. Dementia affects more than million Americans each year. For those over 65, daily walking along with a nutritious diet can help slow the onset of Dementia and Alzheimers. You will feel more confident in yourself and able to rely on your own abilities.
Strengthen your Bones
As we age, the fear of falling and breaking something is definitely on our minds. Without the benefit of exercise, our bones become weaker. The impact of walking helps to strengthen our bones allowing them to keeping their density.
For post-menopausal women, walking a mile a day or more shows higher bone density in the entire body. Bone density is shown to increase in the hip area which is beneficial for most women. To really increase bone density, it is suggested that you pick up the pace a bit and even add in some easy jogging to further improve bone density.
Improve Mental Health
Walking can improve your mental health. Getting out in the sunshine and fresh air improves symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. The change of scenery and the movement help to clear your head thus giving you a better perspective.
With millions of people working from home, changing our environment is mentally refreshing. Getting outside for a walk should help refresh your mind and ease stress.
Maintain a Healthy Heart
Want to improve or maintain your heart health – Walk More. Regularly scheduled walking increases both your cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness as well as reducing your risk of heart disease. Remember, your heart is a muscle and using it each day increases its efficiency.
Take a walk. It is free, easy and low impact way to improve your physical and mental health. Very little equipment is needed – good walking shoes and some cute workout wear. You can do it alone or with friends and pretty much a ny time of day. Start today and in a few weeks, you will begin to see results leading to a healthier life.
Remember, it’s not ever too late to start improving your heart health. Walking is a great and easy way to get more active, lose weight and become healthier.
If you would like more motivation for Healthy Living, check out these posts:
The Benefits of Nature for Your Health and Wellness
Movement – 4 Keys to Getting More
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Love this message! I have a health issue that makes walking difficult, but you’re right: even doing a small amount is really helpful in my life. Great post!
Thank you so much Wendy. Sometimes when I am pressed for time, I will walk on my treadmill for 10 minutes throughout the day!
I recently started walking with a specific goal of 10k steps a day. It is making a big difference in my life already! After 1 week!!
It helps me to sleep better. I also have the opportunity to think and come up with good ideas!