Believe it or not, walking is a great activity for your body and mind. Not only is it easy to do, but it has many positive effects on the body. For starters, it improves your cardiovascular fitness, reduces back pain, and improves your functionality. But is it too good to be true? Well, not exactly. Walking has more benefits than most people realize. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of walking.
Benefits of Walking
1. Strengthens Leg Muscles
One clear benefit of regular exercise and walking is increasing strength. Walking strengthens your leg and core muscles, which help stabilize your spine and get you from point A to point B without falling down or getting injured.
2. Healthier Bones
Walking stresses your bones, but in a good way. When you walk, a healthy stress is sent through your bones, which is necessary to keep them healthy and strong. This healthy stress hardens your bones, which helps prevent fractures during falls, jumps, etc.
3. Improves Heart Health
Just like your bones and muscles, your heart needs to be worked to stay healthy. Walking improves cardiovascular fitness by increasing the heart’s pumping efficiency and strength. Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to prevent heart disease as well. Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in adults over the age of 65.
4. Reduces Pain
Walking and other forms of regular exercise release hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are naturally occurring hormones in the body called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help the brain send and receive messages from the body. Endorphins act like opiates, meaning they have similar effects as morphine or oxycodone (pain killers). During exercise, endorphins are released. As a result, you will feel better physically and mentally.
5. Burns Calories
Just by moving, your body uses energy and burns calories. Just like any other form of cardio exercise, walking is a great way to shed some of those unwanted pounds. Keeping your fitness goals in mind is always good motivation to go out for a walk. The more you do it, the better habits you’ll develop, and you’ll make progress toward your goals one step at a time, literally!
Walk This Way
As you can see, walking is a great form of exercise. It’s great for folks of all ages and physical conditions. Even just 30 minutes of walking per day can vastly improve overall health. It doesn’t have to be long or hard, but can be plenty of fun! Grab your partner or a friend and take advantage of the social component of an engaging conversation. Take your dog for a walk, go to the park, or just walk around the block to enjoy the beauty of nature. Whatever it may be, you can’t underestimate the refreshing feelings that result from a mental reboot.
Another good idea is to invest in wearable technology. Electronic wristbands give you reminders and count your steps so if you’re competitive, turn it into a daily game and compete with your friends and family!
If you are ever in need of a new exercise program feel free to send me an email and I would be more than happy to design a new program for you.
Matthew has a B.S. in Sports and Exercise Science from Wisconsin Lutheran College, is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). He specializes in Sports Performance, Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Health and Wellness, & Functional Training. Matthew lives by the philosophy of “Anything worth having is worth fighting for” – Susan Phillips and he believes that if you want something, then go get it, and don’t stop till you do.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.