Boost your immune function
A study conducted by Appalachian State University of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if those involved did get sick, then it was for both a shorter duration and their symptoms were much milder than usual.
Feel the burn (the calorie burn!)
Walking is a form of aerobic exercise that raises your heart rate resulting in burning calories. Although the calorie burn from walking may not be as great as running, for example, it does steadily burn calories that will contribute to weight loss. Brisk walking for just 30 minutes a day could burn around 150 calories and of course, the longer you walk (and the quicker your pace) the more calories you’ll burn – so get your trainers on!
It’s good for your heart
Its widely agreed that one of the most effective ways to avoid heart disease is to stay physically active and scientists have found that walking could play a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Essentially, walking makes the heart work harder which in turn helps the organ to become fitter. Walking also lowers blood pressure and can improve circulation so there are a whole host of benefits of a quick loop around the local park.
Walk your way to a longer life
Just 25 minutes of brisk walking a day could add to seven years to your life claim scientists at the European Society of Cardiology Congress who also report that moderate exercise could halve the risk of dying from a heart attack for someone in their fifties or sixties. So it’s never too late to start extending that walk for paper by a few minutes each day.
Walking makes you happy
Walking is not only good for your physical health but scientists suggest it can support your mental health too by releasing endorphins and uplifting your mood. Some researchers even claim it can prevent depression. So next time you are feeling a little down, head out for a stroll around the block and you might just feel a little better afterward.
And let’s not forget, the more we walk the less we use transport so we’re helping the environment by reducing pollution and improving air quality – high five to that!
by Amanda Nolan-Durbin