A person walking/ jogging on a park trail

8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Walking

The Lesser Known Health Benefits of Walking 

Most people associate walking with weight loss. But this is not the only health benefit walking have to offer. Walking can benefit people of all ages and fitness levels. Besides, it is also easy to execute, free, low impact and requires minimal equipment whatsoever, and can be easily incorporated into one's daily routine. With walking, all you really need is a sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes and you’re good to go! Read on to learn some of the lesser-known health benefits of walking. 

Walking is an easy and excellent way to improve and maintain your overall health.  From aiding weight loss, relieving stress and improving heart health to supporting a healthy immune system, boosting metabolism and strengthening joints, muscles and bones, there are numerous scientific studies proving the tremendous health benefits of walking. In fact, as per studies, a daily walk of just 30 minutes can help boost stamina, enhance cardiovascular health, reduce excess body fat, and strengthen the bones. Besides this, it also helps reduce the risk of blood clots, as well as the risk of developing conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Below is a list of some of the lesser-known health benefits of walking, with a detailed description.

Health Benefits of Walking

Besides burning fat and reducing the waistline, here are some of the health benefits you can expect when you start walking every day: 

          1. Improves Mental Health

Vector of a brain with a hand below it

Apart from its many physical benefits to health, regular walking has also been known to be healthy for mental health, and the reward maybe even more immediate.  According to a Stanford University study, it was demonstrated that walking enhances the mind and improves creative output by an average of 60%. Another study also shows a 10 to 12 minutes walk to be a mood booster, reduce anxiety and depression, improve memory, and even prevent age-related brain tissue deterioration. 

          2. Boosts Immune System

Having a strong immune system is the need of the hour, especially with all the viral infections looming around us. Physical activity or exercise has been proven to be beneficial and walking, in particular, is no exception. Studies show walking regularly can increase the number of immune cells, thereby lowering the risk of becoming seriously ill from infectious diseases. Moreover, studies also show that people who are walked regularly are more likely to recover sooner from being sick, and have a lower risk of dying from pneumonia when compared to those who seldom walk.

Also Read: The Amazing Benefits of Having A Strong Immune System

          3. Reduces The Risk Of Chronic Diseases

One of the great things about walking is its ability to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease. Several studies show that walking daily (10,000 steps) can significantly lower a person’s systolic blood pressure, which is perfect for lowering blood sugar levels and overall risk for diabetes. Likewise, walking also helps strengthen heart health. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, people who walked regularly, meeting their daily physical activity requirement, have a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular issues, like stroke or heart attack, compared to those who do not walk regularly.

          4. Eliminates Joint Pain

Most people are under the impression that walking is bad for their joints. But this is far from the truth. In fact, walking is known to increase blood flow to tense areas and help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints, which helps promote flexibility, as well as improve motion and mobility. In fact, a 2019 study shows that walking at least 10 minutes a day or about an hour a week, alleviate symptoms of arthritis and also reduce the risk of disability relating to the joints ‚Äďespecially among older adults.

           5. Improves Digestion

You might be surprised to know that walking on a regular basis can significantly improve bowel movements, and strengthen and enhance your overall digestive system naturally. In fact, walking is one of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is recommended to do upon surgery as walking utilizes the core and abdominal muscles, which encourages movement in the GI system.

           6. Promotes Good Sleep

A woman sleeping on the couch with pillows

Regularly taking part in physical activities, including walking, has been known to promote better sleep. This is because sleep naturally boosts the effects of melatonin, the sleep hormone. As per a recent study, it was shown that those who walk on a daily basis have a higher chance of sleeping better ‚Äď including sleep quality and quantity. On top of this, walking is also known to help reduce pain and stress, which is beneficial for supporting sound sleep without disturbances.

Also Read: How Quality Sleep Reduces The Risk of Heart Disease

           7. Reduces Sugar Cravings

According to a recent study from the University of Exeter, it was shown that a daily walk of 15 minutes can curb sweet cravings, especially reaching for chocolate in times of stressful situations. Likewise, another study has also confirmed that walking indeed reduces cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

Also Read: How To Avoid Blood Sugar Swings     

           8. Promotes Longevity

Taking part in daily moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for 10 to 59 minutes per week, is known to reduce the overall death rate by 18%. On top of this, pace also matters in this regard. As per studies, the faster your pace is, the lower your risk drops. Studies have also suggested that this benefit may come from the cardiorespiratory workout that walking provides.


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The Bottom Line 

The best thing about walking is that it is easy, simple and requires minimum equipment and effort for it. Plus, it is also a great way to fulfil your daily recommended exercise. Be it moderate or intense, walking can be incorporated into your daily routine any time of the day, per your convenience. And not to mention all the amazing health benefits it offers besides burning fat and maintaining weight. So go ahead, it is time to grab those sneakers and start walking toward better health and wellness. You will not regret it!

Disclaimer- This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider in case of any health complications.

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