Exercising has many benefits beyond weight loss, but many people skip out on workouts because they can’t seem to find the time to fit it in. Although prolonged aerobic workouts do have many positive health effects, any form of activity can help improve your overall health, even if it’s just walking for 20 minutes a day.
Whether you wake up a bit earlier, fit in a lunch break during work, or go on an evening stroll, taking a brief walk can help change many aspects of your life. If you’re looking to improve your overall well-being, consider these seven health benefits of walking just 20 minutes a day.
1. Improved Mood
Studies have found that taking a moderately-paced walk can instantly improve your mood. Exercise, even if it’s just a brisk stroll, helps release endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body.
2. Increased Energy
If you feel like you hit an afternoon slump everyday, you may want to get moving. Researchers from University of Georgia found that people who walked just 20 minutes a day reported feeling more energetic and less fatigued. Walking increases blood flow, which in turn increases the body’s ability to create energy.
3. Lowered Risk Of Heart Disease
Walking for 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by eight percent, according to research from the University of Leceister. Walking for 40 minutes can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease up to 18 to 20 percent.
4. Longer Life
Even just a brief walk can reduce your risk of premature death by a staggering one-third. Since a large number of early deaths are due to inactivity, any increased activity can have profound effects on your lifespan.
5. A Lowered Risk of Diabetes
Walking after each meal can help lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk for type-2 diabetes. This is especially the case for people who are considered pre-diabetic.
6. Stronger Memory
People who walk have a larger hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Studies show that a daily walk can help improve spatial memory as well as lower risk of dementia.
7. Weight Loss
Looking to lose some belly fat? Just 20 minutes a day can help help shrink your waistline and burn off calories. Walking helps to reduce visceral fat, the deep belly fat in your body.