As the weather warms and one beautiful day follows the next, take advantage of the opportunity to perk up your health. Many experts agree that everyone should take a walk everyday to improve physical and mental health. Walking has incredible full body benefits from your brain to your feet. Over the next few weeks we’re examining 30 health benefits of walking for 30 minutes a day and why you should take a walk everyday.
1 – Walking has anti-aging effects. One study showed that a group of subjects added seven years to their life-expectancy from walking, jogging, strength training or doing high intensity interval training as exercise. Just 30 minutes a day seems pretty doable when you get another seven years out of life!
2 – Walking makes you smarter. Yup, that’s right. Cognition, academic performance and memory improvement are all associated with the benefits of walking everyday. Next time you need a brain lift, go for a walk and step into a smarter you.
3 – Walking doesn’t require equipment. Well, maybe you need a good pair of walking shoes but other than that, nothing is required except your own dedication. Forget lugging around a bag of supplies when you can simply take yourself on a walk.
4 – You can walk anywhere. Walking can be done anywhere at any time. On a gorgeous day you can walk outside in your neighborhood or at a park. On rainy or cold days you can walk on an indoor track, on a treadmill, in the mall or inside your own home. There are no excuses because you can walk absolutely anywhere.
5 – Walking is easier to incorporate into your day than other exercise. Depending on the weather, the intensity of your walk and your fitness level, walking may not require a major wardrobe change or an additional shower. If you’re short on time and just need to get a quick workout in during your lunch break, try walking.
6 – Walking can be social. Unlike an exercise class or sports, you can be social while you are walking. In fact, taking a walk with a friend is a great way to pass the time, catch up and enjoy your exercise. You can probably still gab during intense walking too.
7 – Walking helps you get Vitamin D. Outdoor walking allows your body to absorb essential Vitamin D from the sun. Walking in just your sports bra or a tank top will help you get more exposure to the sun. However, don’t forget your sunscreen. You can still absorb Vitamin D with sunscreen on.
8 – Walking is good for your mental health – it makes you happier and relieves stress. Walking actually has an impact on your nervous system, which controls your body’s stress levels and mood. Walking with friends and walking outdoors further increases its effectiveness as a mood enhancer.
9 – Walking makes you more creative and a better problem solver. Movement stimulates the brain to think more creatively, which gives you new perspective on how to tackle challenges and solve problems. Also, “walking away” from a situation can be helpful to give yourself space to digest and adjust your thinking for more positive results.
10 – Walking allows you to multi-task while exercising. You probably cannot read a book, check your email, listen to music or talk on the phone while swimming or playing tennis, but you can when you’re walking. This helps justify the time you’re spending on this important health habit. Also, walking to get somewhere you needed to go anyways is super efficient.