Walking is Good For You!
Truly fantastic health benefits of walking, the activity for people of all ages! The best part…walking is free, you can do it anywhere! Making it very easy to make part of your daily routine!
Walking is probably one of my most favorite activities. I seriously could walk for days. Walking is an activity/exercise that no matter what shape you are in you can do it!
7 Top Health Benefits of Walking
1. Burns Calories, Which Aids in Weight Loss
Walking gets you moving and the more we move the more calories we burn! Burning calories is key when it comes to weight loss.
Now the amount of calories you burn while walking does depend on a few different things:
- Your speed
- Surface area: Flat, Incline, Decline
- Your Weight
I have become addicted to my fitness tracker which tells me exactly how far I’ve walked, how far I have climbed, the number of flights I have climbed (if stairs were involved), the number of calories burned, and my average heart rate.
I use my Apple Watch as my fitness tracker, but there are many other trackers out there, you do not need a tracker, and if you want one, you do not need an expensive one. I’ve also used the base model FitBit which worked perfectly.
2. Boosts Your Energy Levels
I am not a coffee drinker (I know, I’m crazy), but did you know that going for a walk when you are feeling tired can actually give you a more effective boost of energy than a cup of coffee.
Walking increasing the oxygen flow in your body. It may also increase the levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These are all hormones that increase energy levels.
3. Improves Your Mood
Who doesn’t like being in a good mood? Walking may improve your mental health by reducing anxiety, and depression. Walking also helps to clear your mind allowing creative juices to start flowing!
4. Extends Your Life
We all want to live a longer, healthier, and happier life. This to me is key to living a healthy lifestyle! Studies have proven that walking at a faster pace resulted in a 20% reduced risk of overall death.
A faster pace is being 15-17 minute miles.
5. Tones Your Legs and Butt
Walking uses your entire body, however, is more focused on your legs and butt. To build more strength and toned muscles walk hilly areas, or climb stairs.
6. Strengthens Your Heart
The more you walk the more you can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.
7. Eases Joint Pain
I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Getting older hurts! The more we move and stay mobile the less pain we have on our joints. Walking can help protect our joints, particularly the knees and hips. Walking strengthens the muscles that support these joints.
How Much Should You Be Walking?
If you are new to walking start with 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. As you feel comfortable, increase your time working your way up to 30 minutes a day. You’ll start seeing the true health benefits from walking 30 minutes or more per day.
Once you have built up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, work on increasing your pace. 15-minute miles have been proven to be the speed that shows the most health benefits.
Then from there, slowly increase your time. Walking at a 15-minute mile pace for 1 hour, 5 days a week provides you with amazing health benefits. This is where you will see max results from your walking efforts.
Did you know that at a 15-Minute Mile, for 1 hour, you will hit 10K steps for the day? Yup, that is the magic number that you have probably heard so many people talk about!
Tips For Walking Safety
- Talk to a Doctor before starting any new activity
- Walk in areas that are well lit and designated for pedestrians
- If you are walking while the sun is down, wear reflective clothing so people and vehicles can see you
- Wear proper shoes. Something with good arch support
- Wear proper clothing, nothing too tight or restrictive
- Bring water with you, staying hydrated is key during any activity
- Don’t risk sunburn, wear sunscreen
Tips for increasing your Steps
- Park farther away. Don’t look for the closest parking spot, go find a nice open space towards the back. This will help you get your steps, but also protect your car.
- Walk instead of drive whenever possible. There is no need to drive to run an errand that is less than a mile away.
- If you don’t need to be in front of a computer, take your conference calls while walking…this is my FAVORITE one, I do this all the time!