Looking for an easy way to bolster your current and long-term health? Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise to incorporate into your daily routine. Despite its many health benefits, walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise. From improvements in cardiovascular fitness to benefits for your mental health, there are so many advantages to gain from walking. And this is important in our non-physical worlds, where people order food without moving from the couch, watch movies sitting on the same couch, and even play a crypto casino, video games, etc. from the comfort of their homes.
This article will explore the excellent health benefits of walking and easy ways to incorporate walking into your daily wellness and self-care routine. Whether you walk indoors or outdoors, walking requires no equipment and costs nothing.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Walking just a minimum of 30 minutes a day can go a long way to helping you maintain a healthy body weight as you age. Walking helps burn calories (which can vary depending on how fast you walk and the incline). If the weather outside is not nice enough to walk, walking indoors on a treadmill or an indoor track is another option.
If you find walking boring, consider creative ways to help pass the time as you walk. One option is to walk in a place with a scenic atmosphere, such as a local park or trail system. If walking on a treadmill is your only option, consider listening to a podcast or a good playlist. Luckily, streaming services even offer playlists just for walking or spending time in nature. So, take advantage of that. If you multitask while walking, you’ll be surprised how fast time flies!
Still can’t enjoy walking? Try recruiting a walking buddy, which can give you someone to talk to while on a long walk. Whether you walk together or call them from another location, having a conversation is a great way to pass the time during your walk.
Walking can help you maintain a healthy body weight thanks to effective calorie burning. On average, a 150-pound person can burn about 100 calories when walking moderately. Walking at least one mile daily can amount to many calories burned from physical activity each week. In turn, you’ll quickly lose or maintain your current body weight. Wearing a fitness tracker is a great idea to keep you motivated, allowing you to track your progress and goals. By tracking your progress, you can slowly challenge yourself to more advanced and lengthy walks.
Improve Mental Health
While it is commonly known that walking improves a person’s physical health, many people underestimate the power of walking to improve mental health. Some research studies have suggested that walking positively improves your nervous system by helping to produce endorphins.
Endorphins are a chemical in the body that help improve mood and induce feelings of pleasure. If you suffer from a mental health condition, try incorporating walking into your routine. You might find it helps to lift your spirits! Some studies even show that walking can positively enhance concentration and reduce stress. In addition to enhancements for anxiety and depression, some people find that regular physical activity from walking can help improve sleep patterns. Several studies have suggested a correlation between regular walks and improvements in those with insomnia. However, more research is needed to make more apparent claims.
Walking outdoors is a great idea whenever possible to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Due to the lifestyle choices of our modern society; many people need to spend more time outdoors. As such, this has led to a severe Vitamin D deficiency found in many people. Walking outdoors puts your skin in direct contact with sunlight, allowing you to soak up Vitamin D. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)
How to Make a Walking Plan
Starting a walking plan and making it a habit can take some time. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase your walks’ speed and duration as your body adjusts. New walkers should aim to walk at 3 to 3.5 miles per hour for about 30 to 45 minutes for several days each week. Trying to do this every other day may be helpful, allowing rest days between long walks.
As you adjust to walking, you should increase your intensity. This can be done by increasing your speed (power walking) or walking on different terrains. Some people like to walk on an incline on the treadmill, such as TikTok’s popular 12-3-30 workout, which involves walking on a 12% incline. You can also look for moderate-to-advanced skill hiking trails in your area, which can make your walk increasingly more difficult.
Though it may seem tedious initially, you’ll soon fall in love with walking and its health benefits. Once it becomes part of your routine, it’s easy to stick with! From improved mental health to better sleep, you may find that walking is the simplest way you can improve your health regularly. Consider it an investment of your time to help enhance your quality of life, both now and in the long run!