Why Walking Is Good For You – Both For Your Body and Your Mind!

walk-photoWalking is good for you – it’s a great way to strengthen and tone the legs, butt and stomach and can also help you to lose both inches and pounds.

Not only that but it is the perfect simple way to clear your mind of all the clutter, to de-stress and just take time to appreciate the beauty of life around us…

“Walking is a man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates

Walking doesn’t require any expensive equipment though I would recommend you do have a decent pair of comfy trainers that have proper arch support and will cushion your feet properly therefore are shock absorbing. I also like to a have my music player so I can’t listen to some tunes to motivate me to keep going and be in my own little world on my walks.

The hardest part about walking is actually getting the motivation to get out there and taking those first steps. Once you’ve start walking whilst having a decent song playing on your personal music player motivating you to actually get moving, just breathe in the air and open your eyes to every little thing around you. Look at the sky and the nature around you or the people going about their lives. However much of a crappy week I’ve been having I can’t help but to feel good when I take a brisk walk and open my eyes to see what the world is doing.

Major Health Benefits

Walking has many health benefits it can cut your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease as well as other cardiovascular problems. The American Diabetes Association has said that walking is a great way to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and a study by Massachusetts medical school found that people who walked had 25% fewer colds.

There have also been many studies that have shown that regular moderate exercise such as brisk walking can reduce the risk of breast cancer appearing and recurring in women. woman-walking-her-dog-outdoors

Bones and Muscles

Walking strengthens both your muscles and bones and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It is also a great way to improve your overall co-ordination and balance.

Speed walking is a great way to tone up the legs, burn belly fat and can also help shave off inches around the waist and thighs. Having a sedentary job where you are sitting all day can cause your butt muscles to shrink, yet walking can help reactivate them again.

Fitness calculators estimate you burn 150-200 calories by doing a brisk thirty minute walk, not a great amount but every little bit helps if you are trying to lose weight.

Mental Benefits girl-jumping-on-the-beach

Walking can drastically improve your mood and can also help fight stress, plus walking 30 minutes at least three times a week is said to be a good way to manage stress related headaches. Research has shown that brisk walking activates soothing neurons in the brain and these neurons help dull the feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression.

Feel lethargic, fed up and lacking in motivation to do anything positive or just despair that your life is going nowhere fast – Start walking! A group of psychologists at Illinois University found that even if you only walk for 20 minutes a day for six weeks the benefits could be comparable to a course of psychotherapy.

Ageing

Walking enhances well being and slows down the ageing process, no matter age you start walking and can help delay dementia.

It also yields great cognitive benefits such as improving memory and creative thinking. Therefore just taking a walk is the perfect opportunity to take time to think, work through problems and come up with solutions.

Love that feeling of walking barefoot on the sand, well here’s another reason to do it whenever you can. Scientific studies have shown that walking barefoot on the beach or on grass lets you absorb the earth’s free electrons which have a powerful antioxidant effect and can help protect your body from inflammation.

When to Walk

I find first thing in the morning is the perfect time of day to start off with a stroll listening to a great tune, there are a few people around going about their early morning chores and it’s a great way to start the morning by acknowledging them with a smile. Once my heart rate has risen slightly and the blood has started flowing through my body I can pick up the pace and do some speed walking. I always try to get in some inclines and declines on my walks as well to get my butt muscles really working.

So, if you don’t already walk then just start with small goals like 10 minutes at lunch-time, once that becomes a habit then make it a bit harder by doing 20 minutes, gradually building up to 30.

Start off with a slow walk making sure you keep your back straight and stomach muscles slightly tightened. Keep your head up so you are looking forward not at your feet and relax your neck and shoulders, then just swing your arms gently with your elbows bent. After 10 minutes of slow walking you can pick up the pace and pump your arms if you want to increase resistance. As you come to the end of your walk slow down again and then afterwards make sure you do a bit of stretching out of all the muscles you have used. stretch

It is recommended that you walk 10,000 steps or more per day so wearing a Pedometer or Fitness Tracker is a great way to keep track of how far you have walked and motivate you to try to do more the next time you step out.

If you happen to miss a few days due to other commitments, then just like with any other fitness training remind yourself how good you felt after the last session…

So take the time to get on your trainers and take a walk to enjoy the scenery today, you’ll feel better for it…
If you liked this post and would like to leave a comment please do below – Happy Walking!

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10 Responses

  1. Marlaine says:

    I love to walk! It’s so good for you, like you wrote! I have found that my body can’t handle higher impact exercising like jogging anymore (bad back), so walking it is!
    I like to push my kids in my stroller while I go for a walk – (well, I’d prefer not to, but that’s just how it is right now, so I make the best of it). It’s probably less of an exercise walk than a pleasure walk then, but I still feel I get the benefits of fresh air, fresh outlook, fresh start etc.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Marlaine,

      Yes, walking is a great low impact exercise and also a great way to get out in the fresh air and clear your mind. Just make sure you watch your posture when you are pushing the stroller if you have a bad back.

  2. Sue says:

    I really did enjoy reading your post. I wish that I lived in a warmer climate where I could walk barefoot in the sand. Our high today is going to be around 20 degrees. I know that I should go walk anyway; my biggest problem in taking that first step out the door.

    I always enjoy the walk when I do convince myself to get going and reading your post does help motivate me. So, thank you for that.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the feedback and I’m pleased that the post motivates you to get out for a walk. I know it can be difficult to get out the door when it is so cold, but as long as you wrap up warm you will be so glad you did.

      I often put on my music player and listen to a motivational song to get me up and moving when I really don’t feel like stepping outside. It doesn’t take long for your body to warm up, so that you can enjoy your surroundings and especially on cold miserable days you can feel so much better for it by just getting out smelling that fresh air and taking in the nature around you.

  3. Kelara says:

    Thanks for this inspiring article. I didn’t know that walking had so many great benefits. I must admit that I’m not one for heavy exercise but I do enjoy walking as a form of exercise. Your article has inspired me to become more consistent. As you stated in the article, the benefits aren’t just physical but it’s good for clearing your mind as well. I am really really encouraged to walk more as a form of exercise after reading this article. Thanks again.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Kelara, Thank you for your comment and I pleased that my article has inspired you to start walking on a regular basis. Walking is a great way to get some exercise, some fresh air and clear the mind all at the same time.

  4. Kiki says:

    Thanks for the validation that walking is great. While I also believe in strength training and cardio workouts, I’m a firm believer in the benefits of walking. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t consider it exercise, even when I walk a pretty brisk pace as my daughter rides her bike, I’m going to have to show him this post, and maybe his way of thinking will begin to change.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Kiki,

      Thank you for your comment, 

      I too believe in the importance of strength training and regularly lift weights, but I also walk whenever I can.

      If you are walking briskly it is a great exercise and as you can know has plenty of benefits for your mind and body.

  5. Stephen says:

    I know this is aimed at females but I think this post can definitely be applied to both sexes!

    You’re spot on when you talk about how walking is great for your body and mind. It’s amazing how waking is so underestimated as a form of exercise when, literally, anybody can do it!

    • Emma says:

      Hi Stephen,

      Thank you for stopping by to leave a comment and I’m really pleased you liked the post.

      Yes, my site is aimed at females bur you are totally correct in that walking is a great exercise for the guys too.

      Hope you come back to read more of my posts that could also be relevant to you.

      Thanks again and I hope you have a great day!

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