6 Health Benefits of Walking


6 Health Benefits of Walking

May 29, 2015 //

You probably walk all over the place, every day. Whether you’re making your way around the house or strolling down the street, chances are that you are on your feet often. Even though it may not seem like exercise, walking is actually really good for you! There are many different benefits of walking. If you make a plan to be walking for exercise, you can seriously build up and boost your overall health.

So what are the benefits of walking exactly? Check this overview of the advantages, from head to toe:

1. Your Brain

When you go for a walk, your breathing increases, as does your circulation. Your muscles are stretched gently, and you get to relax a little bit. Even when you walk quickly, you perform aerobic exercise, though the motions are not intense. All of this adds up to walking being a great way to balance the brain and reduce your stress levels.

To help boost your sense of well-being and de-stress further, trying walking with friends. There a several other bonus benefits to walking in a group, too.

2. Your Heart

Probably the best known of all walking benefits, getting on your feet for even just 40 minutes a day can significantly help your heart out. Regularly walking is known to:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Improve and stabilize blood pressure and related issues
  • Lower risk of diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancers
  • Enhance blood lipid profile and blood sugar levels
  • Boost heart’s endurance and strength
  • Increase circulation, which can help boost overall health

Spending time walking everyday goes a long way towards keeping your heart healthier and stronger for longer. If you are training for more intense sports or simply trying to improve your well-being, it’s important to condition your heart. Walking helps with that!

3. Your Lungs

A type of aerobic workout, walking exercise is not terribly intense and it increases the amount of oxygen the body takes in. The increase in oxygen intake occurs because the body needs extra oxygen to use to convert things like glucose into energy. You have improved circulation as a result, so more oxygen is getting to your muscles. This allows your muscles to stretch and grow healthily.

As your body takes in more oxygen during a walk, it breaks down fats to turn into energy as well. Walking for weight loss is popular as a result. You can easily shed a few pounds just by walking for nearly an hour a day. If you want to lose a lot of weight quickly though, your walking workout must be strategic and be accompanied by dieting or other exercises.

4. Your Major Muscle Groups

Do you know how many muscles get a workout when you go for a walk? A ton! For instance, when you walk for exercise by walking at a steady pace and vigorously swing your arms as you move, you strengthen:

  • Muscles in your thighs and calves
  • The muscles and joints in your ankles, feet, knees, and hips
  • Your back muscles as they keep you upright
  • Abdominal muscles, especially if you keep good posture
  • Buttocks muscles, as they are connected to and affected by your leg muscles and motions
  • Arm and shoulder muscles

You stretch and strengthen these muscles when walking, resulting in well-toned muscles and a healthier body overall. Many people who walk regularly have well-toned and defined leg muscles in particular.

With those healthy, strong muscles, you can get into intense sports and exercises more safely and easily. Your strong muscles will also help you to get through your ordinary schedule with less pain, less risk of strain, and with more ease.

5. Your Digestive System

Have you ever noticed that after you go for a hike, you really need to use the bathroom? Your digestive system greatly benefits from gentle, consistent exercise. In that sense, walking helps to keep your bowels regular!

Besides helping to keep you regular, walking helps your body turn glucose into energy faster. That means that taking a walk after a meal will help transform whatever you just ate into energy for a walk, instead of fat that will be stored up in your body.

6. Your Bones

Finally, walking is known to help strengthen your bones. When you walk, the bones in your legs and back have to bear your weight. That helps your bones to get strong and can improve your bone density. Combined with even a few other strengthening exercises, walking can seriously improve the condition of your bones. As a result, walking helps to reduce your risk of disease like osteoarthritis.

Walking is more than just a necessity or a nice pasttime on a sunny day. Just by walking for nearly an hour everyday, you can improve your health drastically. Give it a try and find out how many benefits you reap!

Bethany McIlrath

Bethany McIlrath is a freelance writer who loves sharing tips with her readers to help them to live healthier, fuller lives. Living the busy and sedentary life of a writer, she understands that staying healthy and fit can require creativity. With a passion for motivating others and enthusiasm for food and fitness, Bethany is confident that you can tweak a little here and there in your diet and your routine to boost your health and live more vibrantly.

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