There are many benefits of walking everyday, and IN this article I am going to lay down the top 10 for you!
The famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, once said: “walking is a man’s best medicine”.
Walking always used to be our main form of exercise until more recent transport developments such as the bicycle, car, bus, train and aeroplane become our primary way of moving for both short and long distances in quicker time.
Humans used to walk many miles on a daily basis just to gather basic supplies such as food and water.
Now we do it by either driving or by the touch of a button.
Of course, this way is faster and more effective, but many of us have definitely started walking less and less every single day.
We also used to physically carry all our belongings wherever we went, which in turn strengthened our core and leg muscles without having to ever go to the gym!
Pilgrimages were built on basic fundamental principles that incorporated long distance walking to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion. Pilgrimages were are all about long distance walking!
Yes, various industrial and technological developments have led to amazing changes in our standard of living, but this came at the cost of humans losing most of their primal physical abilities and strength, such as walking long distances.
Walking is, in essence, the most important functional exercise we do.
Many people I know barely walk anywhere these days, and this is a problem.
If you feel like you could be doing more steps on a daily basis, then these benefits of walking everyday below might just motivate you to get started!
Lets get to the benefits of walking below.
10 Benefits of Walking Everyday
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Walking has so many benefits.
Below are my top 10 favorite benefits of walking everyday.
1. Enjoy a Longer Life
Research has found that people who incorporate walking into their exercise routine into their 50s and 60s are 35% less likely to die over the next eight years than people who don’t incorporate walking into their daily routines.
Researchers also found that walking at an average pace compared to a slow pace resulted in a 20% reduced risk of overall death.
But, walking at a fast pace (at least 4 miles per hour) reduced the risk by 24% (the study looked at the association of walking at a faster pace with factors like overall causes of death, cardiovascular disease, and death from cancer).
2. Improves Blood Circulation
Frequent walking decreases your chances of heart disease, increases your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure.
The Harvard School Of Public Health has stated that just 30 minutes of walking a day will decrease your chance of a stroke by 20% and up to 40% if they increased the pace of the walk.
3. Helps with Weight Loss
A fast paced 30 minute walk a day can burn over 300 calories which over time leads to weight loss.
4. Makes You Feel Happier
Walking releases endorphins to the body which is one of the emotional benefits of exercise.
A study done by the California State University shows that the more steps people took during a day, the better their moods became.
5. Strengthens Muscles
Walking strengthens your leg and abdominal muscles which in turn increases your range of motion, shifting the weight and pressure from your joints to your muscles.
6. Improves Sleep
Studies found that people who took one hour morning walks were more likely to relieve insomnia than those who didn’t walk.
7. Improves Your Breathing
When walking, your breathing rate increases which causes oxygen to travel faster through your bloodstream. This in turn helps eliminate waste products, increases energy levels and improves healing.
8. Increases Joint Strength
Movement and compression from walking brings in oxygen to the joint which increases the level of nutrients in the area.
9. Slows Down Mental Decline
A study of performed by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco, found that age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more.
Those walking 2.5 miles per day had a 17% decline in memory, as opposed to a 25% decline in those who walked less than a half-mile per week.
10. Helps Keep You Mobile For Longer
People who walk and move a lot will reap the benefits more at a later stage in life.
A lot of old people who are able to still do everyday tasks can do so thanks to having always been on the move throughout their lives.
This picture take above is of me going for a 10 mile walk in Austria earlier this year!
How To Incorporate Walking Into Your Daily Routine?
I personally think going for 10 to 15 minute walks shortly after completing your morning routine is an amazing way to start your day.
I try and do my long walk every evening after work, which is usually around 60 minutes walking. I cover about 4-5 miles depending on whether I increase the tempo or not.
I find that this is an amazing way to end your day and to clear your mind!
Here are a few ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine:
- Walk to work instead of driving or taking the bus (if you live relatively close to work).
- Walk around the block during your lunch and coffee breaks.
- Walk to shops when buying groceries instead of driving.
- Walk up the staircase instead of taking the elevator or escalator.
- Set yourself a goal of doing 10,000 steps everyday (all smartphones have the step counter application) and make sure you hit your daily number of steps as often as possible.
It’s actually pretty simple to start walking more everyday.
You’ll also find that you will be a lot less lazy than before once you start walking more frequently.
How Long Should You Walk For Everyday?
Like all forms of exercise, this really depends on your level of walking fitness and how many years you have been inactive for.
The time and distance spent walking should be incrementally built up if you have been inactive for many years.
I suggest starting off slowing and building it up slowly.
Very soon you will feel how great going for walks, are and won’t be able to live without them.
Incorporating walking into your daily routine is really a game changer in terms of both mental and physical benefits.
The best bit of advice I can give is to use either your watch or smartphone to track how many steps you do on a daily basis, with the goal hitting 10,000 daily steps.
Movement of our bodies on a daily basis is very key.
Walking is movement is its finest form.
Get moving and start walking!