The Benefits of Walking

Walking is something we do everyday but not necessarily something we think about all the time as something that can improve our wellbeing. Walking has many benefits to our physical and mental health and can improve many aspects of our lives just by doing it for a little bit of time every day. April 7th is the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day, so in honor of this day, we decided to tell you about all the ways walking can help make your life better. 

It Burns Calories

Walking is a great and easy exercise that can help you burn calories. Although, a few factors come into play, such as speed and distance walked. Through burning calories, you can lose weight and actually improve the overall health of many organs such as your heart and lungs. Going for a walk for at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 19%. Having a healthy heart is one of the most important factors to one's health, so going out and staying active is an important thing to keep in mind. 


person walking on pavement with pink sneakers
Walking can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 19%.

It Lowers Blood Sugar

Taking a short walk either before or after a meal can actually help improve your blood sugar by lowering it. A small study found that 3 15-minute walks per day after having a meal can improve your blood sugar significantly. Shorter, brisker walks after each meal were actually found to have more of an improvement on blood sugar than longer walks one time a day. In order to improve your blood sugar, you should consider making post-meal walks a regular part of your routine. 

It Eases Joint Pain

Walking helps protect and ease joints in your legs, hips, and knees. This is because walking helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints in your legs. In addition to this, the lubrication and strengthening of muscles surrounding the joints may be beneficial to those with arthritis, such as reducing the immense pain one can feel during a flare up. It is said that walking about 5 or 6 miles a week can drastically improve pain for those with arthritis. 

It Boosts Immune System Function

Walking may reduce your risk for developing colds, flus, or other illnesses, or can significantly reduce the symptoms felt when contracting an illness. One study followed 1,000 participants during flu season and found that those who walked for 30 to 45 minutes a day saw 43% fewer sick days than those who didn’t walk at all. They also had fewer upper respiratory tract infections overall. Additionally, their symptoms were lessened if they did get sick such as reduced coughing or sneezing. 

two people walking in the woods
Walking can help improve your immune system by reducing colds, flus, and symptoms during sickness.

It Boosts Your Energy

Taking a walk daily can actually be a more effective way of boosting energy than even drinking a cup of coffee. Walking increases oxygen flow throughout the body which makes it easier for organs, like the heart, to pump blood. Through this, the body is able to produce more hormones that elevate one’s energy such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. 

It Improves Mental Health

Walking can actually help improve your mood by going on daily 30-minute walks. Studies have shown that walking can reduce instances of anxiety, depression and negative mood. Additionally, it can boost your self-esteem and reduce symptoms of social withdrawal. In turn, these walks can actually make you think more clearly and more creatively. Researchers found that those trying to come up with new ideas did so more easily and quickly when walking than when they were not. This was found to be especially true when the participants were walking outdoors. 

Next time you’re on the fence about going for a walk, you should definitely choose to go on one. Not only can walks help improve physical health, like joint pain and heart health, but it can also help improve your mood and your creativity. Walking may be seen as a minor thing that we have to do every day, but it is actually so much more. Walking and getting outdoors is a pertinent part of our health and everyone should make an effort to stay active for your body and mind. 

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