Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of fitness training around. However, despite its simplicity, walking is something that can benefit people of all ages and fitness levels in many different ways. Keep reading to learn all about the numerous benefits of walking.
Benefit 1 – It Boosts Your Cardiovascular Fitness
Walking is an underrated but effective tool for boosting your cardiovascular fitness. By walking on a consistent basis, your body will become more efficient at utilizing the oxygen you breathe in and this will have a positive effect on your stamina, energy levels, and exercise performance.
Benefit 2 – It’s Convenient
Many cardio exercises require you to use specialist equipment, wear a certain type of clothing or work out in a specific location. However, walking can be performed anytime, anywhere and doesn’t require any specialist equipment. This makes it a very convenient exercise option that you can easily slot into your day whenever you have some free time open up.
Benefit 3 – It Helps You Lose Weight
While walking doesn’t burn as many calories as some of the more intense cardio exercises, it still works off a notable 240 calories per hour (based on a 150lb person). By being consistent and walking regularly, it can be a very useful weight loss aid. For example, by walking for an hour a day, you can burn off 1,680 calories per week – the equivalent of 0.5lbs of body fat. When you extrapolate this over a month and a year, it adds up to an impressive 2.1lbs per month and 25.7lbs per year.
Benefit 4 – It’s Low Impact
Another fantastic thing about walking is that it’s very gentle on your joints. This means you can enjoy walking on a daily basis without worrying about pain, soreness, or swelling in your ankles, hips, and knees.
Benefit 5 – It Improves Your Mood
Like many cardio exercises, walking helps you feel happier by stimulating the release of the mood-boosting hormones, endorphins. As well as releasing endorphins, walking is also very soothing and allows you to relax, unwind and clear your mind.
Benefit 6 – It Protects Against Chronic Disease
Many chronic diseases (such as cancer and diabetes) are directly linked with stress, poor physical health weight gain. Walking helps protect against these chronic diseases by reducing your stress levels, enhancing your physical health, and lowering your body fat levels.
Benefit 7 – It Strengthens Your Heart
Walking is great for your heart and the more you walk, the stronger your heart becomes. Not only does this allow it to become more efficient at pumping blood around your body but it also reduces your risk of heart disease.
Benefit 8 – It’s Suitable For Everyone
Many people avoid exercise because it’s too challenging or difficult for their current level of fitness. However, walking is very gentle and doesn’t require any specialist skills. This makes it an exercise that everyone can try, regardless of their age, health, or current fitness levels.
Benefit 9 – It Tones Your Leg Muscles
Walking actively engages the muscles in your legs and butt. Over time this helps to tone and shape these muscles and improve your physical appearance. It also helps to build up your lower body strength and develop more power in your legs.
Benefit 10 – It Tops Up Your Vitamin D Levels
One final benefit of walking is that it gets you outside and tops up your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D (also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’) is produced by your body when exposed to sunlight and helps to strengthen your bones and teeth. By walking for just a few minutes each day, you can enjoy these benefits and avoid vitamin D deficiency.
As you can see, there are so many reasons to make walking part of your fitness program. To take full advantage of all these benefits, try and walk every single day. Just a few minutes of daily walking will get you outside, get your blood flowing and enhance your health.