23 Mar The Power of Walking
Most of us who are lucky enough, walk around day-in and day-out seldomly stopping to think about how the act of walking impacts our life. As humans we are conditioned to see walking as part of our daily routine intended to help up get from point A to point B, but the truth is, walking holds enormous value that we should all take a minute to not only appreciate but take advantage of. Below we dive in to both the mental and physical benefits walking can provide.
Physical Health Benefits
- Weight loss and healthy weight maintenance can be achieved through walking. There are many benefits from walking that can aid in weight loss for example, according to Jampolis, “…regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat.(3)” In addition, walking is shown to increase your metabolism by burning extra calories. Not to mention this low-impact movement can be done anywhere and with not equipment.
- Strengthen muscles. Walking helps to tone your body and as you increase your range of motion, it shifts the pressure and weight from your joints to your muscles (5).
- Helps to support your joint health through circulation of joint fluid which helps bring oxygen and nutrients to your joints (5). In fact, according to com, research shows that walking for at least 10 minutes a day—or about an hour every week—can stave off disability and arthritis pain in older adults.
- Walking can reduce the risk disease such as heart disease or diabetes. Walking has been proven to help to lower your blood sugar and blood pressure (3). Walking can also improve your cardiac health while reducing the risk of having a stroke (2).
Mental Health Benefits
- Most of us know that any form of exercise can reduce stress, but did you know walking can have the same impact and more. Walking has shown to be an instant mood booster. According to com,“One studyfound that just 12 minutes of walking resulted in an increase in joviality, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence versus the same time spent sitting.” This instant mood boost leads to reduction of anxiety.
- Improved creativity. Amongst several sources it has been shown that walking can increase your creativity by up to 60%. It increases creativity by letting your mind wander and daydream as you walk this sparking creativity that leads to “ah-ha” moments we sometimes need (4).
- Decrease in mental decline. “A study of 6,000 women, ages 65 and older, performed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more. The women walking 2.5 miles per day had a 17% decline in memory, as opposed to a 25% decline in women who walked less than a half-mile per week. (5)” Walking is also show to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Do not underestimate the power of walking. The combination of the physical and mental benefits that come from walking can lead to not only a longer life but a happier life. So, get out there and take a walk even if it is just around the block or around your house, everyone has to start somewhere. FITTEAM is here to help you on your health and wellness journey no matter what stage you are at.