There can be no denying that exercise is essential to one’s overall happiness and well-being. The amount of exercise required to maintain a healthy “you” can vary from person to person and depends on diet, genetics, and other factors. In general, though, fitting even 20-30 minutes of movement into your day can do wonders for your health and mood. Today I’d like to focus on one simple way that you can get yourself into shape: by walking.
Walking has been proven to have numerous health benefits and can be an easy way for those who have sore ligaments and muscles to still get some exercise without further aggravating their injuries. To help encourage and promote walking as viable exercise, here are 10 ways that walking can improve your overall health:
Walking can help…
Boost your mood
If you’re in a bit of a mental slump or feeling depressed, go outside and get walking. The exercise will help your body produce endorphins – what some people call the “happiness chemical.” Its mood-boosting properties will do wonders to open a mind that’s feeling a little down.
Alleviate stress and anxiety
Not only can walking improve your mood, but by doing so, it can also help you relieve stress and anxiety. Regardless of whether your stress comes from work or from something more serious, like a decline in your oil investments, getting outside for a few minutes a day to decompress can help you realign your priorities and concentrate on, literally, your next steps.
Reduce blood pressure
Research has shown that those who get in 30 minutes a day of walking are likely to see a decrease in blood pressure. Bari Lieberman, from Prevention.com, has a great article on how you can manage to fit in 30 minutes of walking and see the benefits of lower blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy weight
By moving around and walking daily, it’ll be easier for you to reach and maintain a weight that is healthy for you. Even if you are unable to devote a full 30 minutes every day, try incorporating more walking into even the simplest of tasks. Park farther away from the grocery store or try to take the stairs up to your apartment. Small changes like these will help you shed the pounds and keep them off.
Get you refocused
Sometimes all we need to recharge our battery is to take a break from what we’re doing and head out for a walk. The time away from a task that is taxing your mind can allow you to better consider your surroundings, which can give you the mental relief you need to refocus on your next task when it’s necessary.
Give you more energy
We all have experienced that afternoon slump that leaves us unproductive and lethargic during the last few hours at work. Instead of reaching for a candy bar or soda, both of which will only temporarily boost your energy before sending you into a spiraling sugar coma, try, instead, putting on some comfy walking shoes and heading outside. The movement will get your blood circulating properly and will help you feel more energized.
Decrease likelihood of developing certain illnesses
Believe it or not, research has shown that walking frequently may actually reduce the risk of contracting diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. The American Heart Association has great programs for getting you connected with walking groups in your area so you don’t have to go it alone.
It’s a no-brainer that using muscles frequently will help them get stronger. Strengthen your core by walking upright and maintaining proper walking techniques and you’ll soon find that your legs and stomach muscles are getting tighter.
By strengthening your core as mentioned above, you’ll be better able to sustain correct posture, which will leave your head high and shoulders back, the stance of one who is ready and able to conquer anything.
Give you confidence
As the benefits of walking continue to grow, you’ll find that with a better, more focused state of mind, a healthier weight, and more energy, you’ll be bursting at the seams with confidence to take on whatever comes at you next.
Use these 10 benefits of walking to help sell yourself on the task. Soon, you’ll be able to see the benefits in action and will find that you have, indeed, walked your way to a healthier you.