There are so many reasons why walking is one of the best things you can do for your health and happiness, so here are just a few to hopefully motivate you into getting out there while the weather is so lovely.
A Healthy Heart
According to a study published by the American Heart Association, those who regularly took a brisk walk cut their risk of heart disease by 9.3%, compared with just 4.5% for those who favoured running.
It is no secret that if you move more, you lose more and walking is particularly useful for dealing with the fat around your belly, otherwise known as ‘visceral fat’. The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you’re currently putting in. Exactly how many calories you burn will depend on how fast you walk and how much you weigh, to begin with.
Apart from needing a good pair of shoes, walking it won’t cost you a thing. Even in a lockdown you can walk for exercise!
You can go walking anytime, anywhere and there’s no need to pack a gym bag or worry about showering later.
It’s For Everyone
You don’t have to be super fit as walking is low impact and gentle on your body, so it’s even suitable for people with arthritis or extra weight. It’s good for kids and adults too, there’s no age limit, and anyone can do it. Walking for health after retirement is really important too so don’t feel you can’t do it as you get older!
You Can Go To Some Fantastic Places
Whether it’s walking in a forest, up a mountain, along a beach or simply down a path, there are some great places you can discover while you are walking and it’s a fantastic hobby to have. If you would really love to walk up a mountain, then go check out the Alta Via 1 map, to gain some ideas of what that would look like!
It Improves Your Mental Health
Walking in nature is especially good for your mental health and studies have shown that it boosts your mood and creativity and can even be a form of meditation.
It’s Good For Your Ears
Who would have thought that walking could be useful for your ears? The American Journal of Medicine said that having a larger waist circumference and lower physical activity is associated with a higher risk of hearing loss — especially in women.
Walking Can Protect Your Brain Against Dementia
A 2013 study showed that three half-hour walks a week caused the areas of the brain associated with memory and processing info to increase in size, thereby slowing down the natural ageing process.
You’ll Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and sunlight is one of the best sources for it, so getting out and walking during the summer is one of the best ways to get what you need.
You Will Sleep better
Better sleep is another benefit you will enjoy if you start walking regularly.
It’s Easy To Fit In
You don’t usually have to make extra time for it as it’s something you can do as part of your daily routine. Could you walk to work instead of drive?
Could you do it as an activity with the kids? Or go for a walk during your lunch hour? Try tracking your steps and then you can see where you’re up to on an average day and see how you can make sure that you do more.
Instead of sending your friend a parcel for their birthday what about arranging a nice walk together?
To read all my posts with tips and experiences of various diets, exercises and lots more check out my comprehensive Weight Loss and Exercise section.