With the Step It Up challenge starting today, it is great to see what simply walking can do for our bodies. A study published in the journal PLoS Medicine, showed that adding 150 minutes of brisk walking to your routine each week can add 3.4 years to your lifespan.
Below are 10 benefits of walking
- Walk to Manage your weight – a study found that individuals who ate a standard diet and walked for an hour a day were able to successfully maintain their weight.
- Walk to get blood pressure in line – a heart-pumping walking routine can help lower your blood pressure.
- Walk to protect against dementia – walking not only improves cerebral blood flow and lowers the risk of vascular disease, it can help stave off dementia. A study found that walking six miles a week was linked to less brain shrinkage.
- Walk to prevent osteoarthritis – walking is a great form of weight-bearing exercise, which helps prevent the bone-thinning condition osteoporosis, as well as osteoarthritis – the degenerative disease that causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffening. Walking helps maintain healthy cartilage.
- Walk to reduce cancer risk – studies have shown that walking may reduce your chances of developing some cancers, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- Walk to prevent or control diabetes – Brisk walking can help prevent and manage diabetes. Walking 20-30 minutes can help lower blood sugar for 24 hours.
- Walk to lower your heart disease risk – According to the American Heart Association, walking 30 minutes per day can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Since regular walking can keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check it is a great way to boost your overall heart health.
- Walk to improve your mood – a brisk walk can boost your mood and may even help you treat depression.
- Walk to reduce pain – Walking one hour per day can help reduce arthritis pain and prevent disability. A recent study found that walking significantly improved mobility loss among patients with peripheral artery disease.
- Walk to reduce stroke risk – those who walk at a brisk pace for exercise have a much lower chance of having a stroke than those who don’t walk.