Walking every day has shown to slow down the aging process and have numerous health benefits. Walking is low impact in comparison to most exercises and is easy to incorporate into daily regimens because it can be done practically anywhere without adding expense. Many people find that walking every day is enjoyable, as well. The following are a few ways that a daily walk might benefit you.
Reduce Stress and Improve Mood
Walking causes the body to release endorphins, which can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and mitigate pain sensations. Walking also allows a short break from routines and demands, so it may provide needed respite. Since excess stress has been identified as an enemy of good health, even slowly walking for a short period of time may be beneficial.
Walking in good posture, quickly, and for a period of 30 minutes or more may help with weight management. Slow strides and short walks may help people that are relatively unfit or that have health problems, but most will not see weight management benefits unless they practice specific techniques and habits on a daily walk. Walking in poor posture can introduce tension and can strain muscles, so proper posture should always be a priority.
Strengthen Bones and Muscles
Regularly walking places physical stress on the bones and muscles that can help to build strength. Over time, this can help to reduce the risks of having mobility limitations develop or may help to counter existing limitations. Walking regularly has also shown to reduce the risks of developing osteoporosis, so the bones may stay stronger and healthier longer.
Walking briskly increases the heart rate, so it gets the blood moving through the body. This can assist with regulating cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. While any type of moderate exercise will provide this benefit, the low impact nature of walking allows people from all backgrounds to enjoy the benefit without some of the risks inherent in taking on higher intensity exercises.
Decrease Risk Factors for Certain Conditions
Walking can help reduce the risk factors for a whole host of chronic conditions and diseases, such as:
- Heart disease
- Peripheral artery disease
- Breast cancer
- Sleep apnea
Walking outdoors can allow you to soak up vitamin D and enjoy fresh air, but it’s important to be safe. When walking during the hotter parts of the day, be sure to wear sunscreen and a hat to protect against burns. When walking at night, use insect repellent and wear brightly colored clothing with reflectors. Always start slow and gradually move up to a faster pace to allow the body to warm up, and then slow down again towards the end to allow the body to cool down.
If you haven’t participated in much physical activity, it may be best to see a doctor for personalized tips on how to stay safe while incorporating a daily walk into your routine. If health insurance would make a doctor visit more affordable, call 855-440-2292 first and speak to one of our experienced insurance agents to take your first steps to better health.