The simple act of walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Getting outside with a walking buddy and enjoying nature can make you feel better in the moment and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. The low-impact exercise is good for your mind and body, so it makes sense to get some walking in when you can! Here are a few ways you can benefit from daily walking.
Walking for a better you
When you think of how you’d like to improve yourself, you probably imagine being healthy in both body and mind. One of the easiest ways to do so is to get into the habit of walking. And walking doesn’t have to cut into the other activities you enjoy. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you only need to get two and a half hours of aerobic activity each week. That’s just 30 minutes of moderately paced walking five times a week!
Heart and lung benefits
Your whole body feels better when you exercise regularly. In particular, walking has significant benefits for your heart and lungs. The Better Health Channel reported that daily walking can lower the risk of heart disease, reduce body fat and help reduce hypertension. One of the great parts about walking is the fact that you can slowly build up your step count each week. If you’re just beginning on your path to a healthy lifestyle, you can start with a low number of daily steps, like 2,000, then work your way up over time to the full 10,000.
Mental health benefits
Walking can even improve the way your brain functions, especially when you go out for a walk with your friends. When you’re feeling a little lethargic from lack of activity or stress, a quick walk around the block can really improve your mood. In fact, The New York Times reported that city residents who walk in natural environments have fewer stress hormones than those who do not. So if you have a park nearby, consider taking your walk there! And when you do, be sure to bring a friend. According to AARP, socializing is linked to improved mental health.
Talk to your doctor to see if a daily walk is right for you.