We all know the benefits of exercise. In fact, we’re never short of these little reminders that encourage us to live a more healthy lifestyle. Despite this, there’s still a lot of people who suffer from abnormal weight gain and disease brought by overly sedentary living. If you’re someone who isn’t fond of doing exercises and don’t have the mood to go to the gym, what can you do?
Walking is a moderate exercise that’s easy, free, and convenient for everyone. Unlike other forms of exercise, you don’t need any special equipment when you go for a walk. Plus, it offers a wide range of health benefits including lowering your blood pressure and controlling your diabetes. The following are more reasons why walking is good for you:
- It Boosts Your Immunity
According to a new study conducted at the Appalachian State University in North Carolina, moderate exercises such as walking is one of the best ways to keep respiratory tract infections and common cold at bay. Walking for around 30-45 minutes a day was found to help increase people’s immune system by increasing immunity boosters that protect people against illnesses.
- Fights Depression
Feeling blue? Why not try going out for a walk? According to researchers from Australia, depressed middle-aged women who walked for an average of 150 minutes a day showed improvement in their mental condition when medication alone hasn’t helped. Walking outdoors exposes people to nature and sunlight which are known for lowering stress and improving mood. Patients who did this every week had more energy, felt better emotionally and were able to socialize more with peers.
- Reduces Risk of Dementia
Dementia is a result of progressive memory loss and inability to perform tasks. Often experienced by the elderly, dementia like Alzheimer’s disease currently has no cure or treatment. However, study after study has found that it could be prevented by just one activity: walking every day. According to researchers walking can help reduce the risk of dementia and its symptoms including memory loss and cognitive impairment. Elderly people who walked more were less likely to develop dementia than those who stay indoors or in bed in their later years.
- Lose Body Fat
It probably can’t give you hulk-like muscles or chiseled hot abs but walking does a pretty good job helping you lose a significant portion of your body fat. If you don’t do much exercise, walking is a great way to keep you from being sedentary.
But when is the best time to walk? While yes morning and late afternoon walks seem most appropriate, experts suggest that the best time to go for a walk is after meal time. According to researchers walking after a meal for an hour is effective for weight loss and good digestion. When you go for post-meal walks your blood glucose level drops to normal preventing a high blood sugar which could aggravate or lead to diabetes.
- Vitamin D Boost
Vitamin D or sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced on your skin when you are exposed to sunlight is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates the absorption of calcium and promotes bone growth. Aside from eating foods rich in vitamin D like fish, egg yolks, and cheese, walking under the morning sun is also a great way to get yourself a good amount of Vitamin D. Lack of vitamin D is found to bring bone pain, muscle weakness, and an increase in risk of fatal diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
- Promotes Creativity
Out of ideas or do you feel like your brain is not working when you work? Try and go for a little walk. According to experts, walking induces creativity because people get to think well while they walk. When we go for a walk, our heart rates increase thereby circulating more oxygen and blood to all organs in the body – including the brain. Studies have also found that walking on a regular basis promotes new connections between our brain cells which help our hippocampus grow. This is vital for good memory and healthy neurons.
Tips To Find Time and Stick To Your for Walk Routine
- Turn your commute into a walking routine. Instead of taking the car to go buy stuff at the nearest store, lace up your sneakers and do your daily errands on foot.
- During lunch break steal some time for a walk outside. If you always surf the web during lunch break, take the time to get your lazy butt of your office chair and walk.
- Get yourself excited to take walks by buying the right gear including drinking bottles, comfy socks, and shoes that will help you walk easier.
- Try taking your partner on walk dates where you spend a couple of hours just sauntering and walking around the park or the city during the night. It’s a simple but fun way to spend time together.
- If you can’t find a full 30 minute to walk, do it in batches throughout the day. For example, you can do it for 10 minutes in the morning, then another 10 minutes at lunch time, and then for another 30 on the evening.