On this website, I tend to focus a lot on what to eat. Whether you move or not is just as important to your health. Many people wrongly assume that they have to do high-intensity exercise for a long time every day to see some health benefits. Trust me. That is not the case.
I have been an athlete. I have been a sedentary office worker that never exercised. I think I may have found my middle ground at this stage in life. I can honestly say that if you add a 30-minute walk to your day, you will feel great.
Improves your mood
Research has shown that walking modifies your nervous system. You will experience a decrease in anger and hostility. Soaking in sunlight or strolling through some woods can be very helpful especially during colder months when many suffer from seasonal depression.
If you make your walks social with a good friend or relative, you feel more connected. You are strengthening your relationships with the important people in your life.
Helps with weight loss
As you incorporate a daily walk into your schedule, you may notice that your pants start feeling looser. Regular walking can improve your body’s response to insulin and help reduce belly fat.
Want to increase your calorie burn? Schedule your route to include hills and alternate the speed that you walk. Challenge yourself to longer routes on some days. You should strive to get in 10,000 steps a day.
Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories. It prevents muscle loss which can positively alter body composition.
Improves your digestion
Your morning walk can help keep you regular. A regular walking routine can improve bowel functions. It utilizes the core and abdominal muscles which encourages movement through the gastrointestinal system.
In a 2017 study, middle-aged obese women with chronic constipation were asked to walk on a treadmill three times per week for 60 minutes. Their constipation symptoms improved more than the control group.
Poor gut bacteria can also lead to constipation. A 2019 study focused on the effect of brisk walking on intestinal microbiota composition. Results showed that aerobic exercises help to increase intestinal Bacteroides which greatly help digestion.
Enhances creative thinking
Whether you are feeling stuck at work or can’t seem to figure out a tricky problem, research has shown that it is a good idea to get up and move. In a 2014 study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that creative thinking tests given while walking demonstrated more creativity than taken while sitting.
So, when your writer’s block hits hard, it is time to get up and take a walk. Get outside and move your body. You will have a break-through!
Boosts your immunity
Walking can help to reduce your risk for disease and promote longevity. A high-intensity interval walk can improve immune function in older adults. In a study from Chronic Respiratory Disease, it shows that walking can help patients with COPD reduce their morbidity and mortality rates. COPD patients often find intense movements difficult, but walking can improve symptoms and lower their risk for cardiovascular disease.
Go take a hike!
Whether your goal is simply to improve your creativity or lose weight, taking a walk is one of the easiest and best things that you can do. It doesn’t require any equipment or gym membership, and you probably already have comfortable shoes suitable for walking.The intensity can be varied from hard to easy based on the route and the pacing that you select.
Walking can be done at your convenience. You can choose to get in as little as 30 minutes of walking per day, or you can lengthen your walk to an hour or more. With consistent daily walks, you won’t suffer from muscle soreness or fatigue and often you will feel more energized after you take a walk.
Don’t feel limited by the weather. In the summer, you can walk early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce overheating. In the winter time, just bundle up! You can still get a good walk in with freezing temperatures. A warm jacket will keep you comfortable and as you walk your blood flow will increase to keep you warm.