Whether on your way to work, enjoying a scenic view in your local park, or during ordinary activities like shopping or running errands; walking is important for your health, and odds are you’re not doing enough of it.
Walking briskly has been said to lower your risk of high blood pressure, reduce body fat, and even prevent diabetes. Walking is one of those special activities that is not skill based, meaning everyone absent of injury or ailment can participate in it. Even if you are mainly sedentary, the best thing to do is take one step at a time, literally, and start walking more.
The following information describes how walking can make a great impact on your health and what you can do to see long-term results for your overall wellbeing.
Simply Walk Everywhere
Researchers state that one-mile of walking covers about 2,000 steps. For optimal health, it’s wise to work toward a goal of 10,000 steps per day, or if you sit for most of your workday, strive to walk for a designated 30 minutes. This can be easily done by walking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or taking an extra walk to the copier or the coffee machine – which in turn means more walking to the restroom as well. Being cognitive about incorporating more walking into your day is a simple step to achieve a better quality of life.
You don’t have to be a pro runner to see results. In a Study of 33,060 runners and 15,045 walkers, researchers found that the same energy spent during moderate-intense walking and vigorous-intense running resulted in similar positive, health outcomes such as a reduction of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Walking Burns Calories and Is Good For Your Heart
Walking more can be beneficial for more than your waistline. The average number of calories you burn depends on the amount of energy you use while walking. For example, for a 160-pound person burns about 100 calories per mile. The average person's stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long, meaning that it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile. If your goal is to walk 10,000 steps, which is about 5 miles, you would burn an average of 500 calories per day. Of course this all varies on your age, weight, and height – but these numbers give you a good understanding of how impactful walking can be. Bottom line, taking a short walk here and there can really add up.
Your heart is truly amazing, pumping blood to every inch of your body. Your heart rate fluctuates in response to everything you do, from being nervous to getting up out of your office chair. On average your resting heart rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute. Again, this all depends on health, age, and weight. But know this, when going on a short walk you are working out your heart in a great zone called, the recovery zone. This zone is low-intensity and is great for burning fat.
Walking Reduces Stress and Increases Brain Health
You can literally do it anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is put on some shoes, walk out that door, and let those feet step one in front of the other. Getting outdoors and away from technology, work, and home responsibilities will clear your mind, reduce your stress level, and lower your cortisol hormone (your body’s stress regulator). According to a study, those that participated in moderate exercise such as brisk walking one to five times per week were less likely to experience cognitive impairment problems than those who exercised less.
Today’s society is often overworked, sleep deprived, and moving so quickly that we forget to take time for ourselves. Walking is a great way to digress after a long day at the office, gather a clear mind, and take time for you – because you and your health deserve it.
As you can see, through the research and topics covered in this article, walking has a great impact on your health, and it doesn’t take very much to get there. With the accessibility of fitness apps and wearable fitness trackers, tracking miles and steps throughout your day can be fun and simple. Taking the stairs, walking on your lunch break, or trying a new trail with your significant other are simple ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine. Adopt a few of these suggestions and relish in the possibilities of lower blood pressure, reduced body fat, diabetes prevention, reduced stress, increased brain activity, and more!
Tell us how you have creatively incorporated walking into your daily routine. Since walking more, have you noticed any mental or physical changes?