Walking is one of the most accessible and simplest forms of exercise, with so many health benefits. It is a low-impact form of physical activity that has a multitude of benefits for both physical and mental health. I catch myself several times per day encouraging people to introduce walking more as a habit.
Some potential benefits of walking include:
Improved cardiovascular health: Walking is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that regular walking can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall heart health (American Heart Association).
Strengthen bones and muscles: Regular walking can help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fractures (National Osteoporosis Foundation). Walking can improve muscle strength, balance, and flexibility, all of which are essential for maintaining mobility and independence.
Improved mood: Walking is also great for your mental health. It releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. Regular walking has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall mental well-being.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Regular walking has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Improved sleep: Walking can also help improve the quality of your sleep. It can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
Increased energy: Walking can help increase your overall energy levels.
Some simple ways to increase your daily step count:
– Choose the stairs when you can
– Park further away
– Squeeze in a 10 minute walk during your lunch break
– Find a good podcast or audiobook to listen to and head outside
– Ask a friend to go for a walk to catch up
As the weather is getting so much nicer outside it is the perfect time to introduce going for walks and increasing your step count as a habit. Whether it’s taking a stroll around the neighborhood, walking to work, or hiking in nature, there are countless ways to make walking a part of our daily lives. Even short walks can provide significant health benefits. Be sure to book an appointment with Dr. Lauryn if you are encountering any challenges or need any support while getting your steps in!