It’s never too late to get started walking every day. Not only will you improve your health, you will see benefits throughout your life. There are benefits to walking every day. Those benefits positively impact your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It can affect your whole body in a positive way.
Walking gives you a better brain
Going for a walk impacts your physical health by improving function in various parts of your body. In a study done by the American Psychology Association, walking shows improvement to creative thinking and brain power. However, physically, the repetitive motion of your feet hitting the ground sends more blood to your brain. More blood to your brain leads to higher brain function. Higher brain function means your body can communicate messages to your brain better. This symbiotic relationship makes you feel better.
Walking gives you a better heart
When you walk every day, it can also help you manage your blood pressure. When your blood pressure decreases, you reduce your risk of heart attack and improve your heart’s function. A healthier heart means overall better health. You’ll have more endurance and be able to keep up with the lifestyle you prefer.
Walking gives you a better immunity
Another way walking benefits your physical health, is that it improves your immune system. When you’re walking and breathing at a higher rate, you are increasing oxygen in your bloodstream. With more oxygen in your blood, your body can eliminate waste faster and enhance your ability to heal.
Walking improves your body head to toe
Walking also relieves back pain and arthritis, strengthens your arm and core, tightens your stomach muscles and keeps your joints healthy. By being upright and moving, you can also reduce your risk of getting blood clots in your legs and relieve joint pain in your knees and hips. It truly benefits you from head to toe.
Walking helps mental health and memory
If you’re feeling added stress from your day, or have a difficulty concentrating at work, try to get up and take a walk. Walking every day can help improve your mood and balance your mental health.
Walking can have a high impact on your mood. By making sure to walk at least 15 minutes a day, you can not only lower your risk for depression, it’s one of the easiest ways to relieve stress. In fact, research shows that those who are more active have lower levels of stress. Walking is also known to help treat those who suffer from clinical anxiety.
It’s especially important for elderly people to be physically active every day. When you take time to walk, it can help delay cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s or other dementias and reduce your risk of further mental decline.
Walking helps self-esteem
Some research also suggests that people who walk every day are happier overall and have more self-esteem. When you feel better, you’re more likely to be a more positive and creative thinker. When you choose to go for a walk for at least 15-30 minutes a day, your body releases endorphins, or “happy” hormones. When your body produces these hormones regularly, it can help you sleep better at night and feel more rested, which improves mood.
Commit to walking every day
Now that you know why walking is a great way to exercise and improve your overall health, take a step forward and commit to walking for a little bit every day. To add to your regular workout, try these tips:
- Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk on short trips to the store or to a friend’s house, rather than biking or driving
- Use your lunch period to get in 30 minutes of activity
- Walk while carrying small weights to improve your strength
Be sure if you’re going to be walking a long way that you stretch before and after your physical activity. Consult your doctor before starting a more rigorous workout routine. If you don’t have a family doctor, NMC Health Family Medicine has expert doctors ready to safely serve you.