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Walking 30 minutes Daily Benefits Physical & Mental Wellbeing

Madhura Mohan

Posted on July 10 2021

H

 ow do you imagine going for a stroll through some greenery in the early morning hours and soaking in a bit of sunlight? The very thought of it makes you feel vibrant, doesn’t it? Well, if you are someone reading this blog sitting in your office cabin, you’d certainly respond like this…oh too busy to imagine all that! Hmm...The modern industrialized world has not only changed the way we work but doesn’t let us time in the day to get out of the daily ramble. Staring at the system all day without giving your eyes and mind a bit of relaxation can lower your stamina, set fatigue, and contribute to issues like headache, muscle pain, back pain, and so on.

People must understand that staying busy doesn’t mean staying active, and for staying active, one need not exercise vigorously. There is one low-impact exercise that requires absolutely no training, equipment and can be practiced by all ages.

Here’s all about walking, which fulfills the first and most important requisite of current times, to stay active while at the same time offer enormous benefits to health.

 

WALKING PROMOTES HEART HEALTH

In our busy lives, it’s very important to keep our heart health as a priority. Studies suggest that walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and also improve longevity. Brisk walking is a good cardio workout that helps lower the levels of LDL cholesterol, lowers the risk of stroke, and ensures your heart stays healthy. Brisk walking increases heart rate, improves circulation, brings in more oxygen and nutrients to organs, lowers blood pressure. Those with heart ailments can walk slowly for about 30 minutes daily. Walking is easy on your heart, you will work without feeling exhausted. Morning walks are particularly beneficial in helping prevent hypertension, strengthen the heart, and improve overall heart health.

 

WALKING SUPPORTS WEIGHT LOSS

Walking is an easy, low-impact, accessible, proven way to help you achieve your weight loss goals. If you are someone looking for weight loss benefits, brisk walking is more effective than a regular slow-paced walk. Walking increases your metabolism and your non-exercise activity thermogenesis which is the energy expended for anything besides formal exercise. A rise in your basal metabolic rate helps you burn more calories throughout the day even when you aren’t exercising. Combining walking with a calorie deficit results in more weight loss than just limiting calories through diet.

Walking helps stave off insulin resistance, keeps your blood sugar levels stable which means it’s easier to control your appetite. Going for a walk a few times a week can lead to you burning more than 200 calories. Studies have shown that it is easier to keep up with walking and improve your fitness levels.

 

WALKING BOOSTS YOUR MOOD

A high level of stress which is an inevitable cause of busy lives can make one irritable and result in mental conditions like depression. Taking care of mental health along with physical health becomes important when it comes to wellness and holistic health. Walking can improve your mood by modifying the nervous system to a degree that it decreases the feeling of anger and hostility. Regular walking helps to boost endorphins or feel-good chemicals in the brain. Endorphins work as natural painkillers to improve your mood, reduce stress levels, encourage emotional and mental health. Morning walks increase the amount of sunlight we are exposed to, making walk as part of our daily routine can help manage symptoms of depression, low mood. Walking is a great way to boost energy levels, self-esteem, vitality, improves a person’s cognition, and decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you make your walks social, you stride with your friend, neighbor, partner, the interaction helps you feel connected, forget about stresses, worries and make you feel happier.

 

WALKING TONES YOUR BODY

Walking is a great option to tone your body without having to do strenuous exercise. Walking at brisk speeds helps build muscular strength, endurance and helps maintain a good posture. Walking enables your muscles to stretch, helps strengthen your thighs, glutes, and calves. When you walk, the quadriceps stretch the leg, bend the thigh at the hip, the hamstrings enable the knee to bend and the calves help extend the ankles and play a role in generating momentum. Your heart rate rises when you walk, this helps strengthen your abdominals naturally. Your abdominals act as stabilizers for the body and are worked constantly while walking to keep your body balanced. Walking helps in toning and tightening the upper, midsection, and lower body. Once your foot is on the ground, your abdominals and lower back muscles remain contracted to maintain your posture.

 

WALKING IS EASY ON JOINTS

Walking has a low impact on the joints, it is a great form of exercise for individuals who have been injured to continue getting the exercise they need. Going for frequent walks can allow them to stay mobile while they are recovering from their injury. Those suffering from osteoporosis can find it difficult to find exercises that are not risky for their condition. Walking makes one of the best exercises for individuals with osteoporosis, it gives joints and muscles enough movement, helps relieve joint stiffness, mobilizes the joint fluid, and lubricates the joints. If you have been facing joint stiffness due to long hours of sitting in office, walking is highly beneficial to relieve the stiffness and to maintain healthy joints. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that helps burn calories, reduce weight, improve fatigue feeling, help maintain joint function and keep joints functioning longer.

 

WALKING ENHANCES BRAIN FUNCTION

Being physically fit and active will make one experience higher levels of cognitive function. Studies have found that walking even at a moderate pace increases one’s heart rate, causes one to breathe deeper. The heart pumping faster and the deep breaths you take improve circulation, helps improve oxygen flow to the brain, can improve mental acuity, relieve foggy feelings and benefit mental health. An increased blood flow to the brain can promote the generation, protection, and maintenance of new neurons. Going for a walk makes you active, improves your memory and makes you feel more relaxed and calm. Walking is a great way to ward off cognitive decline that can decrease the quality of living in the elderly. 30 minutes’ walk daily can make you feel energized, relaxed, focused and calm.

 

WALKING IMPROVES SLEEP QUALITY

Staying up all night worrying about things like relationships, work, etc can cause you to not get enough sleep. Getting quality sleep is important for relieving stress and for weight management. Walking outdoors in spaces like your neighbourhood park can give you the time to connect with nature, rev up your energy, and make you feel positive. Walking is a great way to deal with stresses that can cause insomnia. Morning walks calm your mind, expose you to sunlight which helps to regulate circadian rhythm and help you achieve a good night’s sleep. Walking as opposed to running or other vigorous activities, has great relevance for individuals with physical limitations that restrict their ability to perform more strenuous movements. The social benefits of walking with another person could offer a boost to one’s mood, promote physical wellbeing and improve sleep quality.

 

So, that’s the thing about the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other…slip into a good pair of walking shoes & enjoy the pleasure of walking outdoors…

Don’t look for reasons to get up early, after all investing in 30 minutes daily walk doesn’t cost you more than the hospital bills…

 

 Also read: 7 Relaxing Bed-time Exercises That Help Promote Better Sleep

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