12 Health Benefits of Walking Every Day
When I first started walking as a way of trying to lose weight and to try and deal with my aches and pains it was just me going out for a brisk walk at lunch time. That was until I found many scientific studies that told me how great walking was and how beneficial walking every day could be.
Have you ever wondered what the health benefits of walking are: Is walking every day good for you? Hell yes it is! From helping you clear your head, help you to keep stress at bay to keeping you limber as well as helping you lose weight and maintain your weight. Walking every day is so good for you and these are just some of the reasons why. Read on to find out my top 10 reasons why walking every day is good for you.
Health benefits of walking: keeps you fit
Walking a brisk pace is exercise. Don’t let anyone tell you different! With cardio-vascular exercise it gets your heart and lungs pumping. This in turn increases your overall fitness levels and helps you build a strong heart. Walking briskly also means you are increasing your circulation which pumps more blood and oxygen to your muscles and your organs. All good for you!
Health benefits of walking: helps with your muscle strength
I can hardly begin to tell you how blooming sore I was before I started walking every day. I would be in so much pain. It really didn’t matter whether I had been sitting for five minutes or an hour. It felt the same. Just stiff and horrible muscle soreness in my hips, pelvis area and knees. I was starting to get really concerned.
That was until I started walking. I have found that my muscles don’t feel the pain any more. My muscles seem to have become stronger. It’s not just me saying that. Many studies show that walking is good for muscle. For keeping your muscles strong and for boosting circulation and blood flow round your muscles too.
Another benefit of walking every day is that you are getting low impact exercise. This means there isn’t as much strain on your bones and muscles as say running. I can remember trying the coach to 5k running program. It really did do damage to my lower back and all that pounding didn’t feel right on my knees either!
Health benefits of walking: helps prevent varicose veins
It is so difficult to do exercise that helps prevent things. If I’m not suffering from it currently it is a tough sell to actually do something to prevent it! However, another benefit of walking every day is that it helps to drain off any excess fluid that may be in your legs. This in turn helps prevent varicose veins as the pumping action of the muscles in the calf do a great job of increasing the oxygen supply and getting rid of any waste products in the tissue.
Walking everyday is free
You don’t have to join a gym, you don’t have to fork out money to go for a walk. Walking is the perfect free exercise. Not only that, the whole family can do it. It gives you the opportunity to chat to your loved ones as well as getting exercise. During work hours, I still do my walking – even in work clothes. Just a comfy pair of trainers or shoes and off you go. Although I would recommend having some wipes in your handbag to freshen up when you get back from your lunch-time walk!
Health benefits of walking: helps you reduce your eating
I was off work for 2 weeks holiday. We didn’t go anywhere but stayed at home. I ate so blooming much. I also reduced my walking those two weeks. I just couldn’t believe how much I was eating all because I wasn’t getting my regular walking in. It could be seen as boredom eating or stress eating. Walking allows you go exercise and release your happy hormones meaning you feel good about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, you are less likely to go reach for the chocolate biscuits.
Health benefits of walking: good as you get older
I’m less inclined to do aeriobics these days and I believe it’s down to my age. Walking seems to be “the one”. I can do it with no equipment, I can fit it in my daily routine, I can do it alone or with family. I also know it’s good for me as I get older. Indeed a study in 2014 showed that walking from an early age can help you stay mobile and independent during your later years. My husband’s primary school teacher lives round the corner from us, she is some age now but she is out morning, noon and night walking her dog. She also goes to yoga classes. She is so fit, nimble and lean. I will be like that when I’m her age. She really is an inspiration.
Health benefits of walking: prevents Type 2 diabetes
There is strong evidence that walking will help prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes. In fact a doctor in England regularly prescribes walking as a medical treatment after it dramatically improved the health of a number of his patients including preventing and reducing Type 2 diabetes. He also found it meant fewer drugs needed to be prescribed.
Unfortunately my mum needs to take an awful lot of drugs for her illness. It’s about 20 per day. I would prefer to go walking now so I don’t have to take any medication later on.
Walking every day burns belly fat
Walking burns calories and it burns fat. So it does indeed burn belly fat too. I am noticing a slow reduction in body fat on the scales each week. This happens even if you don’t change your diet but if you do change your diet, walking will burn belly fat even quicker. Walking every day also helps tone your legs, tone your bum and reduce cellulite.
Walking every day doesn’t have side effects
Ok maybe if you have underlying health issues you may find it hard walking but by and large there are no side effects from walking. Walking is for everyone, children, mums, dads, grandparents. No matter what we can all give it a go, we just have to get up and start walking. You don’t have to go outside either if the weather isn’t great. You can walk up and down your stairs, march on the spot, walk to the bottom of your garden and back a few times. It’s really up to you how you fit walking in to your schedule.
Health benefits of walking: decreases blood pressure
I have only ever experienced high blood pressure twice in my life. During my two pregnancies. It wasn’t fun and being on medication wasn’t something I liked at all. Walking has shown that it reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Getting high blood pressure under control will dramatically reduce your risk of stroke and other heart-related illnesses. Your doctor will be amazed when you get your blood pressure under control by walking!
Walking every day reduces symptoms of mild depression
We seem to be in an epidmeic of mental health issues. Life can be so stressful these days. Walking has been recommended as a way of managing and reducing mild depression. Not just the act of walking but because you are getting out in to the fresh air, your body is also producing happy hormones too. There is also the social aspect of walking such as saying good morning to other walkers or taking a family member of friend with you.
Walking every day can be pain relief for your back
I’ve talked before about the problems I had with my lower back. The pain was awful going from my lower back right down my left leg. Walking helps with back pain by releasing endorphins which stop pain. So not only will walking help you stay mobile it will also help you reduce the pain your are having in your lower back.
How this works is wonderful. The endorphins inhibit your pain by binding to the receptors in your brain. Just like if you took a pain medication! I know from personal experience how back pain can be frustrating and limiting. However, if you walk every day it will improve your life. Tasks that you may find difficult now will become easier. You will also feel like you can do more as your body will be more limber than before.
For me regular walking has helped me lose weight but it has helped me clear my head, reduce stress and is continuing to be of benefit to my health. I have to say that when I decided to start walking I was surprised that it isn’t often talked about as a way of losing weight or getting exercise. It’s almost as if it has been forgotten about. Walking is a fantastic exercise that helps to tone your legs, it helps you reduce belly fat, it helps you strengthen your heart, lose weight and so the list goes on. You don’t have to pay for it and you don’t need to get fancy clothes if you don’t want to.
I hope these 12 reasons why walking every day is good for you encourages you to start walking.