Health Benefits of Walking
One of the most accessible daily activities is walking, which is highly effective at managing a healthy weight, strengthening joints, and providing a longer life. In addition, scheduling walking into your daily routine improves mental health by managing depression and stress. Listed below are the benefits you can expect by walking for 30 minutes several days a week.
- Walking is excellent for heart health.
A daily walk of 30 minutes or more reduces heart disease risk and stroke by a staggering 35 percent, as The National Heart Foundation of Australia estimates. Daily walks are also a great way to manage a healthy weight and metabolism and lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are directly linked to heart health. Even if you can't fit a 30-minute walk into your schedule, short walks are still effective at keeping the heart healthy, according to evidence.
- Walking is excellent for stress management and improved mood.
The brain releases endorphins while walking, which provides a euphoric-like state, similar to laughter and love. A 2018 study discovered that even 10-minute walks resulted in elevated moods in its participants. Additionally, a study conducted by California State University, Long Beach, found a direct link between a person's number of steps and elevated mood and energy levels. With increased time spent walking, the participants rated their diets as healthier and had higher number ratings on mental health evaluations.
- Energy levels and brain function improve from walking.
According to an Australian-Swedish study, office workers who incorporated 30-minute walks into their workday reported less fatigue at the end of the day. In addition, researchers have discovered that increased physical activity can elevate self-esteem, leading to a more energized mindset when 30 minute walks had been incorporated. The rush of energy from walking also encourages creative thinking, which is helpful for critical thinking and problem-solving. On the other hand, sitting for extended periods is connected to an increased risk of health complications and premature death.
- Walking reduces the risk of depression and decreases symptoms.
According to a study of 121 post-menopausal women, those who went on 40-minute walks three times a week experienced a significant depression decrease. Secondly, another study concluded that brisk walking for two and a half hours a week significantly decreased the risk of depression compared to adults who don't exercise.
- Walking manages insomnia and helps the body recover better during sleep.
The intensity of melatonin and other sleep hormones is elevated by walking. In addition, it helps make you fall asleep easier, according to Harvard Medical School. Individuals may even reap the benefits of walking to regulate their sleep cycles and keep their circadian rhythm in balance. Improved sleep quality also means your body can recharge more efficiently, resulting in increased energy the following day.
However, walking close to bedtime isn't recommended since falling asleep is commonly tricky due to feeling more awake and energized. Those who work in the evening or late at night should consider waiting until the morning to walk to avoid sleep disruptions.
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The Pacer Blog: Walking, Health and Fitness