Margaritas by the water, wine at sunset and long walks on the beach; those are three things you can get into, correct? Maybe your margarita and your wine are going to affect you in one pretty certain manner, but your love of long walks on the beach is a good one. Walking has a number of health benefits and other benefits that make it completely worthwhile. If you have the time to take a walk, go ahead and do it; just about every body part will thank you for it later. Read on to find out the top 15 benefits walking has to offer you.
Everyone Can Do It
No gym membership required, no expensive equipment to purchase; everyone can walk. All you need is a pair of shoes (some walking shoes are recommended) and the great outdoors, though a treadmill will suffice. You can walk anytime, anywhere and any place (I’d suggest avoiding dangerous neighborhoods and bad weather when walking, though that’s just a personal opinion).
You won’t drop a 100 pounds in a month doing this, but walking will help you get fit and stay fit. It burns calories, works your muscles and gets your heart rate going, which increases your metabolism. What’s wrong with looking good while enjoying the scenery of the beach or your neighborhood?
Eases Depression and Anxiety
Who needs drugs when you can simply take a walk to feel better? Say nope to dope and yes to taking a walk. Walking releases serotonin into your brain, which is an all natural chemical high. You’ll feel better, less depressed, and less anxious simply walking. Seems like a pretty good deal – and a lot less expensive than therapy.
Bye-Bye Bad Cholesterol
Walking is a great way to lower your bad cholesterol and get you feeling healthier in no time. Maybe now you don’t have to feel guilty eating your favorite high-cholesterol foods since walking will help you lower those levels.
Hello Good Cholesterol
While walking helps your body lower your bad cholesterol levels, it helps your body raise its good cholesterol levels. Maybe you didn’t know there was such thing as good and bad cholesterol, but let’s face it; everything has an evil counterpart.
Walking is a simple way to relieve stress. Not only does getting outside and taking a walk introduce you to direct sunlight, which is a great natural stress-reducer, it helps lower the stress level in your brain by replacing it with feel good hormones instead.
Lowers Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you can lower it by walking. One walk probably won’t make a big difference, but if you plan on walking about a half hour every day, you will see a significant decrease in your high blood pressure levels.
Keeps Your Bones Strong
The more you walk, the stronger your bones become. This means you’re less likely to suffer from brittle bone disease and other bone issues when you get older. Your body will thank you for a long time if you make walking a habit.
Walking Improves Your Mood
Aside from decreasing feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, walking helps to improve your mood by introducing good chemicals into your brain. These help you feel happier, smile more and feel an overall sense of calm and happiness, even after only a few minutes.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
One of the biggest benefits of this type of exercise is its ability to lower your risk of heart disease. It keeps your body in shape and healthy, which helps to protect your heart from disease. Can’t argue with that logic, can you?
Walking is a low-impact exercise, which means that it is less likely to cause you injury. While there is always a chance you can trip and roll down a hill and get a little road rash, it’s less likely to cause long-term injury to your joints and other body parts.
Walking doesn’t take any special skill (for most people, anyway) so that makes it a great, easy way to get fit. You don’t have to work your way up to building stamina to run or to swim, you don’t have to learn how to play a sport and you don’t have to learn to do certain things on certain machines, which is what makes it easy.
Reduces Some Cancers
While it’s not guaranteed that walking will prevent you from ever hearing that you have been diagnosed with cancer, it can make your chances of being diagnosed significantly smaller. Walking is an overall good healthy exercise, which means your body is stronger and healthier, which protects it from disease.
Need I say more? I will anyway. It’s free. Who doesn’t want to exercise free of charge? It’s hard to argue with exercise when you have not one valid reason not to do it, including the fact that it is free.
Your Confidence Level Will Rise
When you walk, your mood improves, your sadness seems less important and your body looks better. You’ve fought disease and heart problems, and now you’re a healthier, better person. How can your confidence level not rise knowing that walking for half an hour every day will do that to you?