Many people tend to write off walking as a “pointless” exercise or as one that doesn’t accomplish much. That’s not really true, though. Walking on a regular basis offers both mental and physical health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. The best part? It’s free and easy to work into your daily routine! With National Walking Day coming up soon, keep reading to learn all about the benefits of daily walks.
1. Keep extra weight off
After looking at 32 obesity-promoting genes in more than 12,000 people, Harvard researchers found that in study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of the genes were reduced by half.
Being overweight can contribute to back pain, make staying active more difficult, and overall lead to negative health effects, but when you incorporate walking into your daily routine, you can maintain a healthy weight!
2. Walking can ease joint pain
Studies show that walking can reduce pain caused by arthritis and that walking between five to six miles a week (at least one mile per day) can prevent people from developing arthritis at all.
Walking also protects joints from developing issues like osteoarthritis by lubricating the joints and strengthening the muscles that support them.
3. Boost your immune function
Want to avoid getting sick? Start walking! Walking on a regular basis can help improve your immune system’s functioning.
Researchers studied more than 1,000 men and women and found that participants who walked at a moderate at least 20 minutes a day at least 5 days a week had 43% sick days than those who only exercised once a week or less. These participants also typically had a shorter duration of their illness with milder symptoms when they did get sick.
4. Improve heart health
When you walk for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you can reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease by 19%. You can reduce your risk further by increasing the duration of your walk as well as the distance every day.
Walking can also improve your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. In fact, post-menopausal who walk at least one to two miles a day can lower their blood pressure by almost 11 points in just 24 weeks.
For women, walking at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20%, or by 40% if they walk at a more brisk pace, according to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.
5. Improve your mood
Walking doesn’t just improve your physical health, it improves your mental health as well! Daily walks can reduce anxiety, depression, and a negative mood. It may even improve self-esteem and reduce social withdrawal. A study from California State University Long Beach found that the more steps a person takes during the day, the more their mood improved.
These differences can be seen with just 30 minutes of brisk walking each day. These 30 minutes don’t even have to be done at once, you can break them up into smaller increments throughout your day.
Enjoy the Benefits of Daily Walks and Get Help Being Your Best in Glen Mills, PA
Now that you know the benefits of daily walks, we hope that you’ll incorporate walking into your regular exercise routine even if you’re already active in other ways. However, if you could use some help getting back to achieving your best due to an injury or pain, come see us at the Center for Sports Medicine and Wellness in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
We’re a team of experts in the most advanced orthobiologic and minimally invasive treatments for our patients. We understand that your top priority is to recover and get back to being active as quickly as possible. We’re proud to provide options that allow our patients to restore their mobility without a lengthy recovery period.
If you’d like to learn more about our services or contact us to schedule a consultation, please call our office in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, at (610) 459-4200 or fill out our form. We welcome your inquiry and we look forward to helping you get back to the game of life!