FitnessHealth

5 Benefits of Walking

move-more-walking-routes

Walking, it’s something that we all do at one time or another, and I think often we overlook just how good it is for us. So today, on National Walking Day, I want to draw attention to the many benefits of walking (because there are many!), to hopefully inspire you to do more of it.

What I love about walking is that it’s something we can do at any fitness level, with friends or family or coworkers, it’s something we don’t necessarily need to put gym clothes on for, and in general it’s quite accessible. You may (obviously) know about the few things I just mentioned, but did you know about all of the other benefits to walking? I’ve got some tips for you!

5 benefits of walking that you might not have known:

  1. Improves circulation: This may be a no-brainer, but when we move, so does our blood. We spend so much time seated in a chair working that often our circulation can be affected in the short-term. Get up and get walking to help promote healthy circulation, and as well a healthy heart.
  2. Stress relief: Stress is something that we all feel at one time or another, and one of the greatest ways to affect our stress is to move- walking being one way to move. When we exercise we focus on one activity (or at least we focus less on the stuff that may be stressing us out) and can act sort of as meditation in motion, helping us to let go of the things we’ve been overly focused on. Regular movement (not just sporadic once a month type of stuff) can help to lower levels of cortisol in our bloodstream, which can reduce symptoms of stress.
  3. Boosts mood: Movement causes our brains to release neuro-chemicals like endorphins that make us feel good and can also make us happier. It doesn’t require high intensity exercise to cause healthy release of brain chemicals either, so get walking!
  4. Improves sleep: Exercise and movement in general is great for promoting more restful sleep and many find that when they are more active they have an easier time falling and staying asleep.
  5. Increases productivity and creativity: Some research suggests that even as little as a 30 minute walk may significantly increase productivity, while other research suggests that for 2 hours post- cardio exercise (which walking can be), one can experience heightened creativity.

Feeling overwhelmed to get started? Just do it. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, any effort you make to walk or move more will help in the long run to get you healthier, and most importantly can help you to feel better too.