How many times have you heard or read about the benefits of walking to your health? At this point, we’re guessing it has been a million times. Of course, not literally a million, but you get the point. Although we have known the fact that walking benefits the body, there are times that our laziness still gets us. So we tend to forget the perks of using our legs and feet to go from point to another. We don’t mean to preach; instead, we intend to remind you again that walking is the greatest thing you can do for your health.
Many people live a busy life. With an incredibly hectic schedule, allotting time for exercise can be easily compromised. Sometimes we fail to keep our body fit because of a busy life. The truth is, we don’t need to spend tons of hours in the gym to balance our health and career. Just a few minutes of walking every day can substitute our work out routine. Walking is not only beneficial to our physical wellness, but also to our mental health.
In this chapter, we’ll discuss eight of the most notable advantages of walking even if it’s just 30 minutes a day. Taking a stroll instead of driving or riding a cab to work or school can bring substantial improvements to your life and health. We have gathered a few points from Mayo Clinic about the advantages of walking both for mental and physical health.
#1 Aids in mental wellness
Walking could be something so simple and shallow, but it can be life-changing for some individuals. According to Mayo Clinic, a daily walk can uplift our mood. In fact, it can can even alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
#2 Reduces weight
As a form of exercise, walking can help reduce weight by losing a few calories in our every step. In addition to that, walking has a more significant impact on weight loss. Based on research conducted by experts at Harvard Medical School, it decreases the effect of 32 genes in promoting obesity.
#3 Lowers the risk for cancer
A few hours of walking could give you a longer life. According to two studies conducted by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, three hours of daily walking can reduce the risk of certain cancers to half, including breast cancer and bowel cancer.
#4 Improves the immune system
Avoid sick days by walking every day for at least 30 minutes. Based on research conducted at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, daily walks help improve the cells of our immune system, giving us a stronger body against diseases.
#5 Reduces sugar level
According to The American Diabetes Association, “aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better.” Walking is an aerobic exercise, which means it can help prevent diabetes in the future. A few minutes every day also helps reduce sugar level in the body, avoiding insulin-related diseases from developing, especially for people who have a genetic history of such illnesses.
#6 Prevents cravings and ‘stress eating.’
Do you frequently find yourself craving for a slice of cake, a cookie, or a sugary drink? For moments of weakness, and you nearly giving in to your sweets temptations, what you need to do is stand up and start walking. Based from the University of Exeter’s study, walking even for just 15 minutes will help you win against your cravings for sugary foods. A few steps a day can also help you avoid stress-eating. Therefore, at times situations get tight, or pressure starts to creep in, instead of reaching out to your favorite pizza parlor, walk for several minutes and wait for your cravings to pass.
#7 Promotes heart health
One of the most impressive effects of walking to health is it can reduce the risk of heart disease to 20 percent. According to research from the Harvard Medical School, at least 20 minutes a day supports cardiovascular health, preventing heart diseases.
#8 Improves mobility when we get older
Walking has long-term effects on body and health. According to a study from American Medical Association, people who walk frequently have better physical health when they reach the age 70 to 89. Individuals who regularly exercise during their younger years had reduced chance of getting physical disabilities when they got old.