There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and it’s free. As I write this blog post, most of the world is under either voluntary or involuntary lockdown in order to “flatten the curve” on COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. So let’s be honest, walking will get you out of the house and it’s a change of scenery from your four walls and family. But today, let’s talk about the health benefits of walking.
Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine
No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.
You will find the air quality outside, will probably be better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body produce all the Vitamin D it needs. Just make sure to put on your sunscreen.
Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight
Walking, particularly at a pace that raises your heart rate, and doing it regularly, can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.
The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.
Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination
As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination.
Getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help. But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. If you do these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day you’ll get even more benefit.
Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Even though walking is a low-impact form of exercise, it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting out, it is all you need to begin to get into better shape. As you become more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.
Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression
Last but not least, the exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. Give it a try! The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm.