Walking is a great way to improve and maintain your overall health, even if done for just half an hour a day. It’s low impact, requires minimal equipment, and can be done any time of day. If you aren’t able to perform more rigorous forms of exercise due to an injury, existing physical condition, or just haven’t exercised in a while, walking is a great option for you.
Benefits of Walking
Walking comes with a variety of benefits, including:
- Burns calories
Like with any exercise, walking burns calories. This helps in reducing body fat and increasing the efficiency of your metabolism.
- Strengthens the heart
Since your heart is a muscle, it needs to be put to work. Walking increases your heart rate, which makes it pump faster. Your heart pumps blood to your muscles, and the more you exercise, the more efficiently it will be able to do this.
- Helps lower blood pressure
Regular aerobic exercise helps strengthen your heart (as mentioned above), making it work less to pump. Therefore, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.
- Eases joint pain
Walking helps build muscle, which in turn takes pressure off of joints.
- Boosts energy
Your heart pumps blood and oxygen through the body. When your heart rate increases, this oxygen flow increases as well. This will give you an extra boost of energy. Walking has also been proven to increase your levels of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. These hormones help elevate energy levels.
- Improves mood
Exercise produces endorphins, the hormones that alleviate stress and (in some cases) feelings of depression.
- Tones your legs
Building and toning your muscles is an effect of every exercise. Since walking is a weight-bearing exercise that primarily uses your legs, you’ll build muscle and burn fat in your lower body.