When it comes to daily habits, most of us try to focus on getting through the day in an organized and calm matter.
If we are lucky, we fit in time to exercise, cook at home and enjoy a leisure activity or two. However, the importance of walking is often underestimated, and especially if you don’t have time to hit the gym, walking is a great option to get in your daily dose of exercise.
It may seem like a simple activity, but walking can have a number of health benefits. The best part is, you don’t have to have a fancy gym membership to spend time walking daily.
You can sneak it into your day by taking a walk on your lunch break, walking to work instead of driving, or even doing a quick evening stroll after dinner.
If you’re not convinced you need to add some walking into your routine, consider these eight benefits of walking daily.
1. Increased Energy
Trying to fight the afternoon slump or chronic fatigue? Walking for just 20 minutes a day increases your blood flow and improves your energy levels, as well as helps fight off fatigue.
2. Weight Loss
Watch your waistline shrink after spending 20 minutes a day on a brisk walk. Walking helps burn calories and reduces belly fat, also known as visceral fat, which is the dangerous type of fat that surrounds your internal organs.
3. Improved Mood
Looking for a natural treatment to anxiety and depression? Start moving. Taking a moderately-paced walk can improve your mood instantly. An Australian study also found that regular walking can help improve quality of life for people with depression.
4. Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Walking is an aerobic activity, which means it can have a positive impact on your heart. Walking for 20 minutes a day may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by eight percent, while walking for 40 minutes a day lowers it by 18 to 20 percent.
5. Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes
In addition to better heart health, walking may help lower your blood sugar and could help reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes.
6. Improve Brain Functioning
Walking has mental benefits as well. One study found that people who walk 40 minutes a day three times a week have larger a hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Walking daily can also lower your risk of dementia.
7. Prevent Vericose Veins
No one enjoys when a pesky vericose vein pops up, but you can help prevent them by spending part of your day walking. Exercise improves blood flow as well as keeps the legs strong, which helps prevent formation. However, be wary of running, which can actually make vericose veins worse.
8. Be More “Regular”
Walking for just 10 to 15 minutes a day can help prevent constipation and make you more regular. Exercising helps move food along the large intestine as well as stimulate the natural contraction of intestinal muscles.