We know it. You don’t need yet another article telling you the benefits of exercise. You know you should already be doing this and that in order to be healthier. But going to the gym is just not many people’s idea of fun. It’s just the ugly truth and you can’t keep lying to yourself that one day you’ll start those yoga lessons. If you haven’t been able to do it now, you might never find the motivation.
But enjoying the benefits of exercise doesn’t require you to build a sweat at the gym or do complicated home exercises. Indeed, you could just go for a walk and feel good. Here’s why walking is a great form of exercise for people who don’t really like exercising.
1. It actually makes you happier
Walking is beneficial to you because it can actually turn that frown upside down. If you are feeling down and you don’t want to face the world, then head out for a walk. According to a study conducted in Australia, a group of depressed women walked for an average of 150 minutes a day and showed improvement in their mental health. There are two good reasons for walking boosting your mood. First, you are exposed to sunlight, which has been known to lower your stress hormones. The other benefit is being close to nature, which is another mood improving the action. In the study, patients who walked every morning reported feeling more energetic and emotionally more stable.
As mentioned, walking is great for enjoying a bit of sunlight. The sun rays are not just important for lowering your stress, but they also help give your body a vitamin D boost. Now vitamin D is super important because it regulates how well your body is able to absorb calcium. Calcium promotes bone growth in your body and can ensure you don’t start suffering from diseases such as osteoporosis. Lack of vitamin D can also result in bone pain and overall muscle weakness. Therefore, by having a daily walk, you ensure your body gets a healthy dose of vitamin D and feels better as a result.
3. Maintain a healthier weight
If you are looking to lose weight or you struggle to keep those pesky pounds off your hips, walking can be an effective way to lose weight fast. According to research, an hour-long walk after a meal can improve your digestion and promote effective weight loss. This is because walking after eating will help your blood glucose levels to maintain a normal level and prevent your blood sugar from spiking – which is not good for burning fat.
4. Improve your immune system
No one likes to be sick and one of the ways to boost your immune system is to walk daily. A recent study has shown, that moderate exercise like walking is among the best ways of stalling respiratory tract infections and the common cold. When people walk for 30-minutes a day, they help increase the immunity boosters within the body and remain healthier as a result.
Walking daily is also going to provide your heart with plenty of benefits. This form of exercise is commonly referred to as cardio and it is perfect for reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. It will help lower the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood while increasing the good levels of cholesterol HDL. According to the UK Stroke Association, a brisk 30-minute walk is enough to prevent and control blood pressure. This alone will help reduce your risk of stroke by 27%.
6. Become more creative
Now, aside from all the magnificent health benefits listed above, there is one more unique advantage to going on daily walks. It can help you be more creative, which can boost your productivity and make you feel happier. Walking boosts creativity because it allows you to spend some time thinking without having to focus on anything else. Furthermore, when you are walking your heart rate elevates slightly which means your body is circulating more oxygen and blood – including in the brain. Research has also shown that regular walks can promote the creation of new connections in the brain. You might boost your memory and make it easier to link things together. All this can boost your thinking and give you a ‘clearer head’.
As the above tips and studies suggest, your daily walks don’t need to last forever. You just need to walk a minimum of 30 minutes every day and you can enjoy the benefits. Just remember to invest in good walking shoes. There is nothing that kills your enthusiasm to go walking quicker than a pair of bad shoes. If your walking shoes are super old or you don’t have a good pair, shop for new ones.
So, next time you feel like sitting on the couch all night long, remind yourself of the above reasons. A short walk will only provide you benefits!