6 Proven Benefits of Walking

Walking is a common leisure activity that can do wonders for a person’s physical and mental health. Studies researching the medical benefits of walking have proven that walking has great benefits.

1. Walking can improve your mood
A study on walking found in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that office workers who took 30 minute walks with their coworkers during lunchtime saw better enthusiasm, improved relaxation, and experienced less nervousness at work.
Link to study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25559067

2. Walking might burn more calories than you thought
Researchers learned that the equations frequently used to find out how many calories people burn while walking are probably incorrect. By factoring a person’s weight, age, and proportions, they discovered people might be burning more calories than previously thought. The study, published in The Journal of Applied Physiology, found a different equation far more accurate for calculating the calories burned while walking. In a Women’s Health article explaining the study, the author writes that the average 130 lb woman walking roughly 3 miles per hour burns about 81 calories per hour. Increase the walking speed to 4 miles per hour, and the walker can burn 95 calories per hour.
Link to study: http://jap.physiology.org/content/120/5/481
Article explaining study: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/calories-burned-walking

3. Walking can relieve back pain
A study involving 31,000 people suffering from back pain found that light, gentle exercise like walking did more to relieve their lower back pain than almost anything else. Because walking is easy on the joints, it’s a great way for people to experience pain relief and get their exercise without putting strain on their bodies.
Link to article explaining study: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/633672/daily-walk-gentle-exercise-reduce-back-pain-survey-cure-Daniel-Steffens-research

4. Walking could prevent varicose veins
Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins usually seen in people’s calves and ankles. They may cause mild discomfort and aching, but they are typically just a cosmetic problem. There is no known cause of these veins, but walking might prevent them. Walking can drain the excess fluid in the legs to keep ugly varicose veins from forming.
Link to article: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/633672/daily-walk-gentle-exercise-reduce-back-pain-survey-cure-Daniel-Steffens-research

5. Brisk walking can actually be more beneficial than running
Researchers comparing data from two studies discovered that walking at a brisk pace is better at reducing the risk of heart disease than running. According to an article published by the Guardian, “Running reduced the risk of heart disease by 4.5% while walking reduced it by 9.3%.” Walking is also better at lowering high cholesterol than running.
Link to article: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/05/brisk-walk-healthier-running-scientists

6. Walking can help prevent diabetes
According to a Harvard study called This is Your Body on Walking, women who walked for around 30 minutes a day decreased the risk of diabetes by 30%. The study also concluded that walking 30-60 minutes per day drastically lowers a person’s risk of heart disease.
Link to study: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/health-benefits-walking

How is walking good for your health?

It has always been a known fact that engaging ourselves in physical activities like walking on a regular basis can make us healthier individuals. However, despite us knowing that, we still exert less effort in doing them.

As a matter of fact, it is said that adults needs about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, while children require 60 minutes of exercise a day to prevent obesity.

Apart from it preventing obesity, what are the other benefits of walking?

Exercise improves the performance of your heart

Walking is good for your heart overall. As a matter of fact, through it, you can also improve your blood’s circulation.

By walking everyday, you can also reduce your chance of acquiring coronary heart diseases. You would also not be as likely to suffer from stroke.

People who are not fond of walking, or doing other physical activities, are at twice the risk of death from chronic heart disease.

Walking helps reduce your risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of death and you can reduce your risk of acquiring the said disease by walking. After all, it is said that active people have lesser chance of developing it as compared to inactive people. In addition to that, it does not only prevent type 2 diabetes for it also helps control it among people who has already acquired it.

Walking helps to prevent cancer

Breast, colon and lung cancer can also be prevented through regular walking. In fact, through waking for about 20 minutes everyday, you can reduce your risk of developing it for about 40-50% as compared to people who do not walk,or do any alternative form of exercise.

It can also help reduce the chance of the cancer reoccurring as well. For cancer patients, walking does not only reduce the risk of re-occurrence or dying from cancer. Walking can also reduce any possible side effects of cancer treatment.

Walking makes your bones and joints healthier

Want to make your bones and joints healthier? It’s easy! Just walk, walk and walk! Through it, you can improve your bones and muscle’s strength and flexibility. This also means that you can reduce your chance of acquiring osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

Walking improves your mental health

Believe it or not, walking can also improve your mental health. In fact, it can improve your mood and reduce your anxiety at the same time. When you walk for about 30 minutes a day, you would also be able to sleep better and as a result, you can think better and improve your focus the following day.

Additionally, in times when you feel depressed, all you need to do is to have some walk and you would surely feel better!

See? Walking offers a lot of benefits for your health. So, start walking today and enjoy a healthier you tomorrow.

Get Fit Nottingham organises guided walks every week in the city centre, and at country parks throughout Nottinghamshire.

Click here for our upcoming walks and lets get fit together!