Walking is the world’s most natural and oldest form of exercise. In fact, it’s so natural some of us think only more demanding and vigorous forms of exercise are beneficial. So, we set out to answer the question “Is walking good for you?” or should you be doing something else?
We all exercise for different reasons. Here’s just a few benefits of walking:
- Improve and maintain heart and cardiovascular system health
- Maintain and improve joint mobility
- Get better sleep
- Lose weight. Even though running or rowing burns more calories, walking will burn about 200 calories in a half hour walk.
- Strengthens muscles. We all think of walking and leg muscles, but the truth is walking incorporates all the muscles from your feet to your head. You’ll exercise your shoulders, arms, abdomen, and more as you walk and move your body.
- Walking is the number one exercise for people with arthritis in knees and hips. If you haven’t been walking because of arthritic knees, grab a knee sleeve and get started.
- Increase endurance. We all need endurance. To be able to exert yourself and stay active is important for work or shopping as well as working out, or sporting events.
- Stronger bones. Walking 30 minutes a day keeps your bones strong to help avoid fractures, breaks, and natural deterioration.
Those are only a few reasons walking is one of the best all round exercises that’s good for you.
Walkers are pounding the pavement as well as trails every day for cardio exercise, weight loss, stress and anxiety relief, to stay toned, to stay flexible, and much more.
Plain and simple; it’s the benefits of walking that gets people of all ages and fitness levels putting on their sneakers and heading outside.
Consider the following benefits of walking when you make your next workout schedule.
Is Walking Good for You or Just Something to Do?
If you’re walking has been little to none, I would encourage you to take a walk today. I personally like walking through neighborhoods the best, but most every town and city has a walking track these days.
If you’re not sure if there’s one in your area, just do a Google Search like this: Walking tracks near me, or walking tracks “the name of your city, town, community“. If you don’t like that idea, you might even think about your own home treadmill.
You’ll get the most natural form of exercise without any complicated workout programs. And you already know how to walk without thinking about it, so there’s nothing new to learn.
The Physical Benefits of Walking
Perhaps the most obvious benefits of walking often come in physical form. If you’re wondering about some of the more specific things you’ll notice after walking, read on.
- You get all the cardio benefits of running without the knee pain. Running and jogging can be very hard on the knees, yet both can provide great cardio exercise. Walking, although slower paced, has the same benefits with less chance of hurting your knees. This is one of the reasons why walking is one of the best exercises for seniors.
- You will tone your legs, butt, and more. If these are your problem areas, walking can help tone them! There are plenty of stretches that help this happen, too.
- Walking has been proven to help you lose weight. Well, it burns calories and it’s exercise. The more you walk, the faster your metabolism will become. Depending on how fast you walk and your weight, you can burn up to 200 calories an hour!
The Emotional Benefits of Walking
Did you know that walking is good for mind AND body? With these benefits, the proof is in the pudding.
- It can be social, and it can be solo. Walking with friends helps reduce the perception of time and effort for many people, which means that you can be losing more weight while feeling as if you had the same amount of effort. Since it’s so common to walk as a form of exercise, it’s not uncommon to see people with pedometers walking down the street alone, either.
- Walking makes you happy. Just like with any other form of exercise, walking releases endorphins in the brain and causes you to have a better mood. For people with mood disorders or depression, taking a walk can take a lot of your emotional problems away.
- Taking a walk can help you meditate. If you’ve ever noticed that thinking is easier while taking a stroll in the park, you’re not alone. The blood pumping as a result of your slow paced workout helps you think faster.
- You get to experience more of the world in a way that a car simply cannot allow. Walking gives you an up-close and personal view of your hometown, beach, or mall. You get to interact with your scenery. It’s a very adventurous way to exercise. Tired of walking on the sidewalk, or in air-conditioned malls? Hiking up a mountain can be a lot of fun, and also educational.
Walking Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive
Yes, your wallet and your time can both benefit by walking. Here are some of the favorites.
- You can walk anywhere you want. You don’t need to be confined to a particular location in order to walk. You can go to the beach, or just take a stroll in the mall. Your location can be as serene or as adventurous as you want. As long as you have some space, you can walk at your leisure. If you can’t walk outdoors, you can use gym’s fitness equipment or have a treadmill or elliptical machines at home.
- You can walk to work. This actually will cut your gas bill, and help you lose weight at the same time. In big cities, walking to work can also save you some time.
- It’s cheap. You don’t need the latest equipment to walk around the town. In fact, you technically don’t even need walking shoes in order to walk. You don’t need a pedometer, nor do you need anything else. Walking is one of the cheapest exercises in the world.
Walking is the most relaxing and fun way to maintain your weight and health. It’s easy, free, and you already know how. It’s got a ton of benefits not usually associated with an exercise that comes so naturally.
Hower, this low impact exercise produces very real and steady results when it comes to every aspect of your health, and well being. Like any form of regular exercise, the results aren’t overnight, but quite effective.
With all these great benefits, it’s easy to answer the question “is walking good for you”. How can you go wrong with this great exercise choice? Put on your favorite soft sole shoes, and take a walk today!