During the decades ago or even as far as centuries back, many people consider walking as a primary of transportation. Except, of course, when traveling long distances or carrying heavy loads.
But, at that time, before the advent of modern cars, people walk very often. Walking is very natural to humans. But, unfortunately, through the advancements of automobiles and technologies like television and smartphones, many people live a sedentary lifestyle.
This suggests that when people exercise regularly, they may be able to retard the process of ageing. Exercise buys you three to seven additional years of life. It is an antidepressant, it improves cognitive function and there is now evidence that it may retard the onset of dementia. –SourceSanjay Sharma
Today, a huge portion of people’s time is spent sitting while watching TV or doing endless scrolling on social media. But this sedentary lifestyle takes its toll.
Walking is a simple way to stay active physically. Many people are well aware of the importance of regular exercise and yet spending a few minutes outdoors under the sun walking is ignored.
The regular daily walking activity of just 15 minutes can do wonders in your health. Of course, it should be combined with healthy lifestyle practices to make the results healthy and lasting.
Health Benefits of Daily Walking Activity
Walking, although it’s simple, is an excellent form of exercise. Unfortunately, today many people consider exercise going to the gym and forget the simple physical activity like walking.
Let’s hope anyone who reads this would be encourage to do a regular walking activity. Even better, a daily walk.
In just less than an hour of walking while enjoying nature and its view, one can enjoy many health benefits. The benefits may be endless but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll mention a few here.
1. Boosts Longevity
A regular walking activity would only make you healthy but could also let you live longer.
One study says1 that encouraging people to walk as part of their healthy lifestyle could extend their life expectancy. The study also pointed out that it benefits men more than women.
In addition, making a regular walk as physical activity and part of healthy lifestyle practices can reduce medical expenditures.
2. Boosts Cognitive Performance
It is true that regular exercise boosts brain function. And, regular physical activity through walking is no different.
A study back in 2010 found that moderate walking activity can enhance brain function. Interestingly, the same exercise is linked to slowing down the aging process and increase cognitive tasks.
3. Boosts Moods
Stress and anxiety are both prevalent these days. Fortunately, exercise can help elevate a person’s mood to some extent. In a 2016 study2, researchers found that walking at least 20 minutes can increase one’s self-confidence.
More importantly, that same amount of time walking is linked to the reduction of anger and feeling of hostility.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
Hypertension is another very common health condition these days. Fortunately, it is good news for those who have high blood pressure as a regular walking activity is just as good as medications.
Again, this is a fact backed by science3. Daily walking activity helps you burn calories, boosts heart health, eases joint pains, and lowers blood pressure. Of course, these are just a fraction of the health benefits of walking.
Of course, you’ve got to combine walking with proper nutrition to effectively and naturally lower blood pressure level. Certain foods are excellent for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Even nuts like walnuts are a great addition to your healthy diet.
5. Improves Digestion
Regular exercise alone is good for the gut. And, what about walking does it beneficial for the digestive system?
Indeed! The New York Times reported a study that a 15-minute walk is good enough to improve digestion and control blood sugar.
6. Improves Mobility
As people grow older, mobility becomes a problem, especially with a sedentary lifestyle. One study4 finds that walking along with strength training helps older people improve their mobility.
7. Improves and Maintains Healthy Bones
Just like any type of physical activity, walking helps the bone healthy and strong. Hence, a regular walking activity can help increase bone density. Eventually, it is helpful in reducing risk of bone-related problems like osteoporosis.
Moreover, walking outdoors is also an excellent way for sun exposure. Sunlight, when it hits the skin can trigger a chain of events including the production of Vitamin D in the body. Of course, you don’t want to say outdoors to avoid getting burned.
A 30-minute morning under the sun can be a good thing to do.
8. Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Earlier, we’ve mentioned that regular walking exercise can improve cognitive function. But that’s not all, walking is also good for brain health.
One of today’s widespread cognitive disorder is Alzheimer’s Disease. It affects many people, particularly older adults.
In 2010, WebMD mentioned one study that a weekly 6-mile walk can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by half.
9. Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Regular exercise is crucial for diabetic people. In a Harvard article, exercise including walking has been mentioned as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Moreover, Harvard nurses also found that walking 30-minutes a day helps reduce the risk of diabetes and belly fat accumulation.
10. Boosts Creativity
If you want to stay creative or improve your creativity, walk daily. Stanford University researchers confirmed it5.
The author of the study, Marily Oppezzo says that walking can improve a person’s creative thinking.
One possible explanation is that walking taxed executive function to handle the dual-task nature of walking while thinking, and a side effect of this distraction was that it allowed more creativity to seep in.Journal of Experimental Psychology:Learning, Memory, and Cognition 2014, Vol. 40, No. 4, 1142–1152
Probably, it is why many successful people like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been known for his meeting on foot.
Moreover, some leaders or those in the executive level bring their people outdoors for a walk when they can’t solve something inside the meeting room.
Next time you feel stuck and can’t think of a good idea or solution, go out and take a walk.
There may a lot more in which a regular walking activity can offer. But, let’s start with this list.
Sure, this is just a fraction of many health benefits of walking. Hopefully, this would encourage sedentary or inactive people to start their physical activity through walking.
Most of these listed health benefits of walking will create a domino effect. Hence, the effort you will put into it is always worth it.