Take a Walk! The Benefits of Walking
During these times, it's easy to feel cooped up inside. Cabin fever can get to the best of us. Something as simple as going for a walk outside in the sun can make a difference in our health and well-being! It's low-impact, doesn't require a gym membership or equipment, and can be done at your own pace! Here are some benefits of walking and tips on how to achieve your health goals through going for walks!
1. Easy way to burn calories
Walking is a great way to shed extra calories, thus helping you maintain a healthy weight. At a brisk pace, you can burn 100-300 calories during a 30-minute walk. According to studies, people who achieved 15,000 or more steps each day tend to have a healthy BMI(Body Mass Index). So go ahead, soak up the sun, put some music on and go for a stroll - perhaps during your lunch break or after work/school.
2. Improve mood
Getting your body moving can be beneficial to your mental health. Research says that walking can change your nervous system so you'll experience fewer negative emotions. Plus, getting some sunlight helps our bodies produce Vitamin D, which can regulate our mood and may help reduce depression. Walking outdoors and spending time in nature also produces endorphins, improving your overall mood and mental state!
3. Prevent various conditions and illnesses
The National Walkers’ Health study found that walking was linked with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood sugar. Walking is also known to lower the risk of cardiovascular illnesses, like heart disease. Other benefits include reduced joint and muscle pain, and improved memory. The more you walk, the more benefits!
4. Increase creativity
Stuck on homework? Can't seem to come up with new ideas for a work project? Why not take a walk and get those creative juices flowing! A study done by Stanford University found that walking increased creative output by 60 percent, and the creative boost continues after the walk. Light to moderate aerobic exercise like going for a walk is known to improve brain function.
5. Better sleep
If you're having trouble catching Z's it might be a good idea to get some steps outside! Plenty of research shows that walking during the day can lead to better quality sleep. People who have difficulty sleeping can fall asleep in up to 13 minutes after a month of regular exercise, according to studies. Plus, getting some sunshine during the day can help improve your body's circadian rhythm, or "internal clock".
- Make walking part of your everyday routine
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator
- Walk to the local store
- Get off the bus a few stops earlier
- Wear a step counter or download a Health App that counts your steps using your phone
- Make it a goal to reach 10,000 steps per day
- Walk with a friend
- Wear comfy clothes, proper shoes and don't forget the sunscreen