We’ve all heard it before: “You need to get your steps in!” But beyond being told to walk more, have you ever really stopped to think about why walking is so important? Turns out, this popular form of exercise is actually one of the most underrated exercises out there, and reaping its benefits is easier than you might think. This article offers three reasons to incorporate walking into your daily routine.
#1. Improve Physical Health
Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help you stay active and improve your overall health. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can help you burn calories, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels. Walking can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, reduces your risk of heart disease and improves your bone and joint health. The health benefits of walking are truly endless.
#2. Improve Mental Health
Walking can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and improve overall mental health. When you are stressed, your body is in a fight-or-flight state. This means that your heart rate and blood pressure are increased, and your breathing is quicker. Walking reduces these physical symptoms of stress, regulates the production of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, and releases endorphins, i.e., hormones that improve mood and relaxation.
#3. Low Impact Exercise
Walking is a great way to exercise without putting too much strain on your body. If you are new to exercise or have joint or bone problems, walking is a great way to start getting fit. Walking is a low-impact activity that can reduce your risk of injuries and improve your balance and coordination. Furthermore, since walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it can also strengthen your bones and muscles, making it the ideal form of gateway exercise.
The Optimal Recommended Walking Routine
The best walking routine is the one that works best for you. There is no “one size fits all” answer to how often you should walk or how long your walks should be. However, most experts agree that walking is a great exercise for overall health and that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking per day is a good goal for most people.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to start with shorter walks and gradually build up to the 30-minute mark. Once you can walk for 30 minutes at a time, you can focus on other aspects of your routine, such as the intensity of your walk and the terrain. Walking uphill or carrying a backpack can make walking more challenging and increase the intensity.
In terms of terrain, you may want to mix things up to keep your walks interesting. Walking on a treadmill can be boring, so try to find routes that take you through varied scenery. If you live in an urban area, try walking in a park or on a nature trail. If you live in a more rural area, you may have more options for interesting walks.
Walking is a great way to exercise and improve your overall health. Finding the right walking routine will make you more likely to stick with it and reap the benefits.