Walking is a great workout no matter what your fitness level is (yes even for the fittest of the fit). It’s the easiest physical activity one can do and a good pair of walking shoes is the only equipment you need. Walking for just 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your health, from losing weight and de-stressing to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many types of chronic illnesses.
Here are five reasons why you should start getting in those steps.
Improve your mood
You know how after a rough day you may enjoy a glass (or three) of wine? Well, going on a 30-minute walk can have the same feel-good effects. Research shows that that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. So, you can still enjoy that glass of wine, but just try going for a walk first. Also, if you’re someone who experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder, then taking a walk outside exposes you to natural sunlight which can help reduce the effects of SAD.
Get those creative juices flowing
If you’ve been feeling out of touch with your creative side then talking a stroll can definitely help. According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. The researchers conducted creative thinking tests on participants who were either seated or walking. Those that were walking thought more creatively than the seated. This could be down to that walking promotes our brains to think more clearly. Treadmill desk anyone?
There’ll be more room in those pants
This one is a bit more obvious but adding just 30 minutes of daily walking will help trim that belly fat even if the scale isn’t moving much. This is due to the fact that regular walking can improve how your body responds to insulin which can reduce that stubborn mid-section fat. Also, walking is a great way of losing fat without compromising muscle, which will help with overall body composition. The best part — it’s super easy to make these major changes. Simply try walking most places like parking a bit further from the entrance from the store so you can get those extra steps.
Reduce your risk of chronic disease
This one is impressive: According to the American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%. Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, found that those who walked enough to meet physical activity guidelines (30 or more minutes of moderate activity on 5 or more days per week) had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regularly. With results like these, there’s really no reason to skip out on walking. And your doctor is sure to be impressed on your next checkup.
Is your digestive system acting up? Well, walking may just be the answer. Having a regular walking routine can improve gastric mobility. This is because walking utilizes your core and abdominal muscles encouraging movement in your gastral tract. It’s like that morning coffee that’s been keeping you regular but without all the caffeine jitters.
Ready to lace up those walking shoes?
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