Top 7 Reasons to Walk Every Day
Even though walking doesn’t seem like it’s doing much, this simple form of movement actually has tons of health benefits — let’s take a look at the top seven.
1. Boosts Your Mood
Going for a walk is a pretty immediate mood booster — even if it’s shorter than half of a Netflix show! One study found that just 12 minutes of walking was enough to boost someone’s mood. Bonus points if you walk outside in nature, with a friend, or listening to a podcast or music you love.
2. Lowers Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Walking is one of the best exercises for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, which are both risk factors for heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity when they are elevated. Moderate-intensity walking (about 100 steps per minute) seems to be the best for improving these markers.
3. Helps Manage Weight
Even though you may think you need to be sweating profusely to support weight loss, walking also provides an excellent boost to losing weight. Even though it may not burn as many calories as sprinting or jumping, moderately walking for 150 minutes per week has been linked to improved weight loss.
4. Supports Strong Bones
Walking is a weight-bearing exercise (meaning, you are bearing your body weight). As opposed to non-weight-bearing activities, like swimming, walking puts good pressure on your bones that strengthens them, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
5. Lowers Stress
Walking — especially outside in nature — can drastically lower stress. This is seen by reductions in cortisol, our main stress hormone, and increased endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals.
6. Boosts Creativity and Focus
Stuck on a challenging problem at work or in school? Try going for a brisk walk without any other distractions, as this form of light exercise has been shown to boost creativity and focus abilities.
7. Extends Lifespan
The Blue Zones are regions of the world where people routinely live to be age 100 and beyond. These centenarians have several things in common — and one of them is forgoing cars as much as possible and walking extensively throughout the day. If it’s feasible, try walking to your daily errands instead of driving!