Top 4 Health Benefits Of Walking
When you’re busy and on the go, the last thing on your mind is trying to fit another activity into your already packed schedule. So how can you find time to get some exercise in when you just don’t have the time? One solution is walking. It is said that we need to take 10,000 steps a day to be considered active. Anything under 5,000 is considered a sedentary lifestyle.
If you are not used to walking alot, the best thing to do is buy a pedometer. Start out small and work you way up to 10,000 steps. Simple things like parking further away from your office or the store will add steps. While at work instead of emailing or calling someone make a face to face visit. If you have alot of floors at your job, you could try taking the stairs half way and the elevator the rest. It really is about whatever you feel comfortable doing in the beginning. The important thing is to add some more movement during your day.
Here’s a list of my top 4 health benefits of walking:
1) May help prevent obesity. For me personally, the winter months always decrease my motivation to exercise. I just don’t like to be outside for very long when it’s cold. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I plan on taking more opportunities to walk when I would normally be sitting. For instance, I spend a lot of time during the week in car lines picking my kids up from school or sitting waiting for them at their sports activities. This would be a perfect time to move more and burn some calories in the process.
2) Decreases stress-hormones. When we are stressed our body releases the stress hormone called cortisol. The body goes into “fight or flight” so our appetite increases and weight gain is likely as appetite and insulin increase. Some of the other effects of cortisol release are increased blood pressure and decreased immunity. Walking and exercise will help to lessen the effect of cortisol during stressful times.
3) Reduces “bad” cholestrol and increases “good” cholestrol. Over time high cholestrol can contribute to clogged arteries which left untreated can cause heart attacks and strokes. Enough said!
4) Improves mood. Walking and exercise help trigger the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the body that trigger a positive feelling and an energized outlook on life.
If you haven’t committed to better health yet, it’s a great time to start. Lace up your walking shoes and let’s go!
Is walking already a part of your lifestyle or are you just getting started? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below.
Tasha Nelson is a busy mom, wife and registered nurse who works the night shift at a large midwest hospital. She is also a total wellness enthusiast who firmly believes in the importance of taking care of yourself. A healthy mind, body, and spirit makes for a happy person. Isn’t that what we all want?