Why is walking so good for your health? It is easy and cheap (you don’t need anything more than comfortable shoes and clothing), squeezing in a few extra strides around the block will do wonders for you physically and mentally.
Walking is good for you because it helps you to sleep better, increases fitness levels, and boosts your immune system.
As a general rule, walking regularly for half an hour is amazing for all the right reasons. It quickly impacts your heart, brain, lungs and intestines, among others. Studies show that mortality rate decreases, as does the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. A quick walk can also turn your mood around.
Read on to delve deeply into the subject, complete with a list of benefits for all ages and fitness levels.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why is walking so good for your health? List of benefits
- 1.1 Helps the intestinal system
- 1.2 Prevent diabetes
- 1.3 Strengthens muscles, bones and cartilage
- 1.4 Better bone density | Why is walking so good for your health?
- 1.5 Improved cartilage health
- 1.6 Increased lung function
- 1.7 Stronger brain power | Why is walking so good for your health?
- 1.8 Improved fitness levels
- 1.9 Better sleep | Why is walking so good for your health?
- 1.10 Obesity prevention
- 1.11 Healthier heart and blood vessels
- 1.12 Fights stress and depression
- 2 Tips for walking more frequently
- 3 Why is walking so good for your health? Conclusion
Why is walking so good for your health? List of benefits
Helps the intestinal system
Daily walking stimulates the metabolism and is good against intestinal congestion.
According to several scientific publications, daily walking lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 55 percent.
Strengthens muscles, bones and cartilage
Walking strengthens the muscles and bones and therefore reduces the risk of osteoporosis (osteoporosis). Walking is also good for cartilage.
Too little exercise has caused the cartilage in the joints to become thinner.
Walking helps to build up cartilage and therefore move more smoothly.
Better bone density | Why is walking so good for your health?
When you walk, you use your bones, muscles and cartilage. The cells in your bones are constantly being broken down and created.
If you don’t make enough new bone cells, the bone becomes weaker and osteoporosis (osteoporosis) creeps in. The annoying thing is that you don’t notice this until you break something after a fall.
By getting enough exercise, you can slow down the process of osteoporosis.
Improved cartilage health
Between your bones and joints is elastic tissue: cartilage.
This cartilage consists of water-filled cells. Cartilage that receives little stress loses water and therefore becomes thinner.
This can cause you to suffer from painful and stiff joints. However, from exercise, such as walking, your cartilage remains firm.
Increased lung function
Those who walk a lot increase the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen.
Stronger brain power | Why is walking so good for your health?
The risk of Alzheimer’s decreases by 15 to 46 percent in people who remain physically (and mentally) active throughout their lives.
Seniors who already have dementia can also benefit from walking. Seniors who walk frequently are more cheerful and their memory functions better.
Improved fitness levels
According to several studies, we should get half an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.
Therefore, walking very slowly will not do much for you because your heart and lungs are not really exercised.
However, walking at a brisk pace will improve your fitness thanks to an increased heart rate and faster breathing.
Ultimately, this makes your heart stronger and this has a positive effect on your blood pressure and blood vessels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While walking, you also train your lung capacity to properly absorb and transport oxygen through your heart and blood vessels.
Better sleep | Why is walking so good for your health?
Walking is helpful to maintain weight or lose weight.
Walking can be sustained for a relatively long time (compared to running, for example) and in this way you can expend a lot of energy.
Walking has the advantage of being a low-injury sport. Not everyone who is overweight can be expected to do intensive exercise.
An hour of brisk walking consumes about 240 calories. Thus, those who walk for half an hour daily can lose considerable weight.
Healthier heart and blood vessels
Daily walking lowers your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. In addition, it improves the condition of your heart (after all, the engine of your body) and blood vessels.
Are you actively engaged for at least one hour a week? Then the risk of heart problems already decreases by 45%!
Fights stress and depression
Walking works against stress and depression. Anxiety disorders also decrease by almost half thanks to regular walking.
Tips for walking more frequently
We are often told that there is little time to exercise or sports during the week. That a busy job and/or family life don’t allow you to make time for exercise.
We offer a few tips on how to more easily implement walking into your daily routine and get results:
Involve your family
Let your family and/or loved ones know that you want and are going to exercise more. I am sure they will be happy to help you remember this.
Forgetting your plans for a while is now no excuse.
Make a training schedule
Those who are not in great shape would do well to build up their walking rhythm gradually.
A training schedule prevents muscle soreness and sore shins. On numerous websites you will find schedules and tips to build up from beginner levels.
In a nutshell, it involves walking more and more minutes briskly and alternating that with a few minutes of calmer walking.
It’s also important to stay hydrated while walking, especially when it’s hot. Read more on How to stay hydrated while walking: Hydration tips
Walk upright and relaxed
Always walk at a pace that is easy to maintain.
Don’t make the steps too big, place your feet well and allow your arms to move smoothly with you. There is no need to swing your arms too much.
All you really need is a good pair of walking shoes and a good pair of socks to go with them to avoid those nasty blisters: How to prevent and treat blisters on feet from walking? Tips
Consider adopting a dog
Has a faithful four-legged friend been on your wish list for years? Then it’s time to take action.
In fact, dogs make sure that you very quickly end up with half an hour of walking per day. In addition, studies show that animals can be therapeutic besides keeping you active.
Alternate faster walking with leisurely walking
You do this by walking faster for one minute, for example, and then again for two minutes at your normal pace.
Intermittent walking is good for fitness and it burns extra fat!
Walk during working hours
You can also take various moments at the office or in the company buildings to take a (small) walk. Do you need a colleague who works on another floor or in a different building? Then take the stairs instead of the elevator!
For phone calls, move to the hallway for a few extra miles, and you’ll also reduce noise levels at work too.
Get coffee or tea for your colleagues at the machine around the corner. Every step you take is good for your body.
Take the (grand)children to school on foot
Often, elementary schools are within walking distance. But since it’s easier, we still grab the car quickly to take the kids to school.
But what could be finer than getting some fresh air?
Walking to school with the children also has an immediate positive effect on your relationship with your (grand)child.
The funny stories of children and their honest and humorous way of thinking create a special bond that keeps the mind young.
Walk during lunch and to work
Get outside and enjoy your lunch on a brisk or summer walk.
Or do you live near work? Leave the bike or car for a while or get off the train a stop earlier, a walk around the block is easy!
Why is walking so good for your health? Conclusion
Walking is a cheap and easy way to get fitter, sleep better and reduce tension and stress. It can also prevent certain illnesses linked to being overweight.
So grab your walking shoes and head out! Find out here What are the best shoes for obese walkers? A Guide