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Top 5 Health Benefits Of Walking Daily

benefits of walking daily

Do you go for a walk every day? If not, then it’s time to incorporate walking into your daily fitness regimen. Research studies have long back proved that regular physical activity is the key for good health. Walking on a daily basis not only helps you to lose weight but can also add years to your life. Don’t believe? Read what science has to say about the health benefits of walking daily.

Health Benefits of Walking Daily

A regular physical activity stimulates glucose metabolism, reduces body fat, lowers the blood pressure and also reduce bone loss. It also helps to reduce stress and improves sleep quality, which is the key for good health and life quality. If exercising every day is not your cup of tea, don’t worry. Just walk your way every day to reap its health benefits and stay healthy. Here’s more reasons and benefits of walking daily.

1. Aids in weight loss

Most of us have a desk job, which makes us spend most of the time sitting, which in turn leads to weight gain. However, walking every day can help you to burn more calories and reduce your risk of weight gain and its related health complications. It is a form of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise which can help you to burn up to 100 calories per mile.

Moreover, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Exercise, Nutrition, & Biochemistry[1] revealed women who walk for 50-70 minutes thrice a week for 12 weeks showed a significant reduction in the waist circumference by 2.8 cm and lost around 1.5% of their body fat. So if you have belly fat, walking can help you to cut down that extra flab.

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2. Improves creativity

Stuck at a point and can’t think what to do? Take a break and go for a quick walk outside. Studies have revealed that whether you need a solution at work or are looking for a novel idea but stumped for an idea, walking can get your creative juices flowing and help you hit the bull’s eye.

A 2014 study[2] revealed that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after going for a walk. A short stroll in the outdoors can stimulate the brain and open up the free flow of ideas along with improving physical activity. It is a simple and quick solution for people in the creative field. Moreover, it also improves memory, cognition, learning, and reading, thus lowering your risk of cognitive impairment.

3. Lowers the risk of heart disease

If you have any risk factor for heart disease, then don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes walking every day to keep your heart healthy. Several studies[3] have documented that 15 minutes of daily exercise can cause a 15% reduction in deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. Walking is known to improve blood pressure control, reduce resting heart rate and strengthen the heart muscle, thus protecting you against heart diseases.

A 2002 study titled “Walking compared with vigorous exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular events in women”[3] revealed that women who either walked or exercised vigorously at least 2.5 hours per week had around 30 percent low risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease post menopause.

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4. Increases life expectancy

Want to live longer? Make sure you walk every day. One of the reasons why you go for regular walks is that it can add years to your life and make you live a long life. A research study published in 2012 in the Journal Public Library of Science Medicine[4] showed that walking can add up to seven years to your life irrespective of your age and weight.

Moreover, walking helps you to stay fit, healthy and happy. This is because people who exercise or walk are more happy, excited and enthusiastic about their future as compared to their couch-potato friends.

5. Relieves stress

One of the key benefits of walking daily is that it is the fastest and most effective ways to help you calm down and fight stress. A quick walk after your meals or in the evening can go a long way in boosting your mood and relieving stress. According to a 2018 study[5], walking helps clear cortisol, stress hormone, and improve circulation of blood, thereby helping you to stay calm and happy. Moreover, walking in a natural environment settings such as parks, garden and green spaces was more restorative than walking in urban surroundings like roads and malls.

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Tips To Ensure You Walk Every Day!

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every adult between the age group of 18 to 64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Here’s how you can meet your daily dose of walking to reap the benefits of walking daily.

-Take a quick walk in your office premises after lunch or during tea time to break the negative effects of sitting for long.

-Instead of taking a lift, opt for stairs as it not only boosts your metabolism but also helps you to kickstart your day on a healthy note. If not climbing up, you can always take stairs when coming down.

-If traveling by public transport you can always get one stop earlier on your way to home and cover the remaining distance by walking.

-For people who travel by car or bike, park your vehicle slightly far away from your office and walk all your way to the office to ensure your daily dose of walking.

-It is wise to get up of your chair and walk up to your colleague to inform or ask about anything at work instead of pinging on chat or call.

-While talking on a phone try walking instead of sitting which will help you to complete your daily dose of walking as you do your job.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Lalit Kanodia, General Physician)

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References:

1. Hong HR, Jeong JO, Kong JY, et al. Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Sep;18(3):277-85.

2. Oppezzo M, Schwartz DL. Give your ideas some legs: the positive effect of walking on creative thinking. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2014 Jul;40(4):1142-52.

3. Manson JE, Greenland P, LaCroix AZ, et al. Walking compared with vigorous exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular events in women. N Engl J Med. 2002 Sep 5;347(10):716-25.

4. Moore SC, Patel AV, Matthews CE, et al. Leisure time physical activity of moderate to vigorous intensity and mortality: a large pooled cohort analysis. PLoS Med. 2012;9(11):e1001335.

5. Ewert A, Chang Y. Levels of Nature and Stress Response. Behav Sci (Basel). 2018 May 17;8(5). pii: E49.

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