Regular physical activity is essential for good health. However, it’s not always easy to find time to exercise. Going for walks is a great way to meet your daily physical activity needs. Walking provides the health benefits of physical activity, but it’s also a convenient and inclusive way to move.
Try to walk for 30 minutes each day; it’s an an attainable goal and easy to remember. This can be one 30-minute walk, two 15-minute walks, or three 10-minute walks; each minute of physical activity contributes to meeting your daily goal.Movement is essential for good health, and going for walks is an excellent way to meet your physical activity needs. Walking is accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels. Click To Tweet
Walking benefits your health
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week.
Walking at a brisk pace gets your heart rate up, which falls under the category of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
How fast is a brisk walk? It’s roughly that speed that you walk when a stranger kindly holds the door open for you, but they’re slightly too far ahead of you.
Walking benefits your health in many different ways:
- Manage stress. Walking allows your to relax, decompress, and sift through your thoughts.
- Improve your mood. Spending time outdoors and physical activity are both shown to improve mood.
- Manage a healthy weight. Physical activity is essential for good health and maintaining a normal weight.
- Manage cholesterol. Regular exercise helps keep your cholesterol levels in the appropriate range.
- Stay active. A body in motion stays in motion. The more you move, the easier it is to stay active and move freely without pain.
- Decrease your risk for disease. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and some cancers.
- Strengthen muscles. While walking doesn’t satisfy the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendation for strength training two days a week, walking does help strengthen your legs and core.
- Strengthen your bones. The average person reaches peak bone mass around age 30. After this point, you start losing more bone tissue than your body produces.
- Improve cardiovascular health. Getting your heart rate up keeps your heart healthy and strong.
- Promote healthy lungs. Muscles need more oxygen during exercise and activity, which means your lungs have to work harder.
- Regulate blood pressure levels. Reducing stress and strengthening your heart helps keep your blood pressure at healthy levels.
It’s a convenient and inclusive way to be active
There are many different ways to meet your daily physical activity needs. However, walking is especially convenient, and it’s accessible for people of all ages and fitness levels.
You don’t need special gear or equipment to go for a walk, and there isn’t an annual or monthly membership fee. All you need to go for a walk is a comfortable pair of shoes.
You can walk anywhere. Simply step out your front door after meals, or walk around the office on your lunch break. Remember that each minute of physical activity throughout the day adds up.
People of all ages and fitness levels can improve their health together. This creates opportunities to bond with friends or family members. Bring your dog along for your family walk — pets need exercise, too!
The more your move, the greater the health benefits. One of the most rewarding things about walking for your health is that it’s easy to see improvement. It becomes easier to go farther, and you will feel healthier. Gradually increase the distance and the duration of your walks, or increase the number of walks you go on. Try walking faster.
Walking is generally a safe activity, and you can adjust the intensity to meet your needs and abilities. Talk to your doctor if you’ve never exercised, or if it’s been a long time since you’ve been physically active.