10 Benefits of Walking to Age Even Healthier!
Let’s talk about walking. Even if you’re not a fitness buff, walking is a great way to get some fresh air, clear your head, and get some exercise in.
But what I really want to talk about today is how walking is often underestimated, especially by women. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Oh, I’m ‘just’ walking right now.”
Listen up, mama – walking is awesome!
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced exerciser, there are so many benefits to walking that you’re doing yourself a disservice by thinking of it as “just” walking.
So let’s dive into some of those benefits!
First up, we have better digestion. Did you know that walking after a meal can actually improve your digestion by stimulating the production of digestive juices and helping food move through your system? And if you struggle with constipation, taking a walk can get things moving, as well!
Next on the list is creativity. I don’t know about you, but when I’m walking, my brain is on fire with ideas. And it turns out that studies have shown that walking can boost your creativity by up to 60%! So if you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, go take a walk and let those creative juices flow.
Improves Balance & Coordination
Moving on to number three – walking can improve your balance and coordination. And let’s be real, as we get older, that becomes more and more important. But here’s the thing – we’ve trained our bodies to only walk on flat surfaces, like concrete or a treadmill. And while that’s better than not walking at all, it’s not really challenging our bodies to improve our balance and proprioception. So next time you’re out for a walk, try walking on some uneven terrain or hopping up and down curbs to challenge yourself a bit more.
Walking helps with sleep. Walking can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which can all contribute to poor sleep quality. Studies have shown that people who walk for 30 minutes a day sleep longer and have better quality sleep than those who don’t. So if you’re struggling to get some shut-eye, lace up those shoes and hit the pavement.
Stronger Bones & Joints
Stronger bones and joints: Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps strengthen bones and joints. It can also improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. Studies have shown that walking can reduce the risk of hip fracture by up to 40 percent. FORTY PERCENT. Let’s just breathe that little fact in for a moment!
Chronic inflammation can contribute to many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Walking can help reduce inflammation and protect against these conditions. Studies have shown that even a 20-minute walk can reduce inflammation in the body. 20 minutes…we can do that!
Boots the Immune System
Walking regularly can strengthen your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies. This means you’re less likely to get sick. Studies have shown that walking can reduce the risk of colds and other illnesses by up to 50 percent. Who doesn’t love a good percentage?! Are you digging all these numbers as much as I am?
Increases Energy Levels
Walking can give you a quick energy boost. When you walk, your heart rate increases, and blood and oxygen flow to your muscles and brain, making you feel more alert and awake. Studies have shown that walking can increase energy levels in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, so think about what it can do for those of us who don’t have CFS but just want to have more energy!
Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Walking can help reduce stress and anxiety by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood boosters. Plus, walking outdoors in nature can help improve your mood and reduce stress. Studies have shown that walking can reduce stress and anxiety in people with depression.
Aids in Weight Loss
Walking is a great way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. A 30-minute brisk walk can burn around 150-200 calories, depending on your weight and speed. Plus, it can help boost your metabolism, which means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not walking. Studies have shown that walking can help you lose weight and keep it off.
I hope these 10 benefits serve as either a reminder or a new motivation to lace up and not take for granted or minimize the power of walking!
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A study published in the journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility found that walking can accelerate gastric emptying and improve digestion. (source: click here)
Another study published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases found that walking after a meal can improve glycemic control and reduce postprandial glucose and insulin levels. (source: click here)
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition found that walking enhances creative thinking. (source: click here)
A study published in the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy found that walking on an unstable surface like a balance board can improve balance and coordination in older adults. (source: click here)
A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that walking can improve the quality of sleep in people with chronic insomnia. (source: click here)