10 Surprising Benefits Of Walking As Exercise

10 Surprising Benefits Of Walking As Exercise


Are you tired of the same old exercise routines that leave you bored and uninspired? If so, it’s time to lace up your sneakers and walk the pavement! Not only is it a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints, but it also comes with many surprising benefits for your physical and mental health. Don’t believe me? Let me quote the legendary Henry David Thoreau, who once said, ‘An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.’

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Are you tired of the same old exercise routines that leave you bored and uninspired? If so, it’s time to lace up your sneakers and walk the pavement!

Not only is it a low-impact exercise that’s easy on your joints, but it also comes with many surprising benefits for your physical and mental health.

Don’t believe me? Let me quote the legendary Henry David Thoreau, who once said, ‘An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.’

So, put on your walking shoes, grab a water bottle, and explore the top 10 benefits of walking as exercise!

Here’re the top 10 best benefits of walking as exercise:

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1. Improve Cardiovascular Health

Did you know that walking can do wonders for your heart health? It’s true! Walking is a form of aerobic exercise that gets your heart pumping, which can help strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease. [1] [2]

Walking regularly can improve your endurance and make everyday tasks a breeze if you feel a little out of breath after climbing a few flights of stairs. It’s like giving your heart a daily workout but without the need for fancy gym equipment or special gear.

2. Strengthen Bones And Muscles

Surprisingly, walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps strengthen your bones and muscles. With each step you take, you’re putting pressure on your bones and muscles (especially in the lower body), which helps stimulate bone growth and prevent muscle loss in the long term. [3] [4] [5]

Walking can also help improve your balance and coordination, making you less prone to falls and injuries. It’s like a full-body workout that’s gentle on your joints and can be done almost anywhere.

So, whether you’re taking a stroll around the park or power-walking on a cushioned treadmill, you’re giving your body the strength to tackle whatever life throws your way.

3. Reduce The Risk Of Chronic Diseases

Did you know that walking can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and stroke? It’s like a superhero cape for your health.

Yes, walking is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and improve your cholesterol levels, all of which can be dangerous for our bodies. [6]

And the best part? Just 30-60 minutes of walking a day can significantly impact your health. It’s like a small investment for your future that pays off big time.

4. Increase Metabolism And Weight Loss

If you’re looking to boost your metabolism and shed some pounds, walking is one of the great ways to achieve that.

Regular brisk walking helps you burn calories and increase your metabolism, which can help you lose weight and keep it off. [7] [8]

5. Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Feeling stressed and anxious? Take a walk! Walking is a great way to clear your mind and reduce stress and anxiety.

In fact, according to the American Heart Association, walking is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. As the famous writer and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

And he’s not the only one who recognized the power of walking. The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, believed walking is essential to clear thinking and mind.

So, put on your walking shoes, stroll through nature, or even around your block. Your mind and body will thank you for it!

6. Improve Mood And Overall Well-Being

Walking is not only great for your physical health but also for your mental health. Studies have shown that walking can help improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and even boost self-esteem. It’s like a natural antidepressant available to you anytime, anywhere. [9] [10]

As the famous philosopher Henry David Thoreau said, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” And he’s not wrong! Walking can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and increase happiness and well-being.

7. Improve Immune System

Walking can also help you improve your immune system and reduce your risk of illness and disease.

How? As you walk, you increase blood circulation and oxygenation, which can help improve the function of your immune cells. It’s like giving your immune system some power booster. [11]

As the famous physician Hippocrates once said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” It is a natural, low-impact way to support your body’s defenses and keep the body healthy.

8. Improve Creativity And Productivity

Do you feel stuck at work? Taking a walk can be a great refreshment for your brain and your productivity. Studies have shown that walking can help improve your creativity by up to 60% and also help boost your productivity and enhance cognitive function. [12] [13]

From Passion To Profit

It’s amazing to know that many famous writers, artists, and thinkers have attributed their creative breakthroughs to the simple act of walking.

So, whether you’re stuck on a problem at the office or looking to spark your imagination, take a walk, which might be the inspiration you need to come up with your next big idea. Plus, it’s a great way to break up a long workday and get some fresh air as well.

9. Opportunities For Social Interaction

This is my favorite point. Walking can be a great way to meet new people, connect with friends, and build community. It’s like a walking social network! Whether you’re walking with a friend or joining a walking group, you’ll get the opportunity to meet new people and build meaningful connections.

As the famous American naturalist John Muir said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

And this is especially true when it comes to social connections. Walking can help you break the ice with someone new, share stories and experiences, and build friendships that last a lifetime. Walking with others is a great way to stay motivated and accountable for your fitness goals.

10. Improve Sleep Quality

Last but not the least, many Studies have shown that walking can help improve your sleep quality, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and increase total sleep time. [14]

As a famous Roman philosopher, Seneca, once said, “Sleep is the healing balm that repairs the worn and weary body.”

And walking can help ensure that you get the restorative sleep your body needs by regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. So, walking in the evening can help you wind down and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. [15]

How Can You Include Walking in Your Routine?

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Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Here are a few tips to get started:

Start Small

If you’re new to exercise, start with a short walk around your block or even just a few minutes on a walking machine, like a treadmill. Gradually increase your time and distance as your fitness improves.

Make It A Habit

Schedule walking into your daily routine, just like you would any other appointment. Whether it’s a morning walk or an evening walk, make it a regular part of your day. Don’t skip!

Find A Buddy

Walking with a friend or joining a walking group can make exercise more enjoyable and help you stay consistent.

Mix It Up

Walking doesn’t have to be boring! You can try different routes, walk in different parks or neighborhoods, or listen to music or podcasts to keep things interesting.

Set Goals

Whether it’s a certain number of steps per day, a distance goal, or a time goal, setting achievable goals can help keep you motivated and on track.

Remember, even 5 minutes of walking is better than none at all. So, try not to skip your routine.

How Much Should You Walk Every Day?

Generally, the amount of walking you should do every day depends on your overall health and fitness level.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), adults aged 18-64 should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking, throughout the week, which is about 30 minutes per day for five days a week.

However, if you’re just starting out with walking, it’s okay to begin with shorter durations and gradually build up to 30 minutes per day or even longer.

Additionally, if you have a health condition or are pregnant, always consult with your healthcare provider about what kind of physical activity is safe and appropriate for you.

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Who knew that something as simple as walking could have many surprising benefits? From improved cardiovascular health to better sleep quality, the benefits of walking are truly amazing.

And the best part is that it’s an activity that almost anyone can do! Whether you’re young or old, fit or unfit, walking is a great way to improve your health and well-being.

Remember, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start walking toward a healthier, happier you.

About The Author
Bishnu Pada Das is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and founder of CrazyAthlete. He encourages and empowers people to lose weight, build muscle, and lead a healthy lifestyle.
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