9 Reasons to go for a walk, right now

A Cambridge University study which revealed the benefits of daily exercise, also showed that lack of exercise kills twice as many people as obesity (1). We could all do with getting more exercise, and walking is a great choice; you don't have to go for a run! No athletic skills or special equipment is needed, yet walking can boost your mood, aid weight loss, lower blood pressure and help to control diabetes. Did you know that just 150 minutes of brisk walking a week could add 3.4 years to your life (2)?

We've got 9 reasons you should go for a walk, right now, as well as some helpful fitness tips to make your walks more enjoyable, so check them out!

#1. Lose weight

Losing weight, or avoiding weight gain in the first place could be possible by going for a walk regularly. A study by researchers at Harvard University of over 34,000 women, found that over a 13-year period, those who ate a regular diet and walked for an hour a day were best able to successfully maintain their weight.

Our fitness tip

Get yourself a fitness buddy for your walks, whether that's a dog, a friend or a neighbour. According to a recent study, dog owners walk more each week than those who don't own a dog (3)!

#2. Protect against dementia

Walking can lower your risk of vascular disease by improving cerebral blood flow, which could help stave off dementia. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to prevent the onset and progression of the disease - keeping your brain active could also help.

Our fitness tip

A great playlist of workout songs is the perfect companion for your walks, so load up your iPod and make your walk more enjoyable!

#3. Reduce cancer risk

Regular walks could help reduce the risk of developing some cancers. A study carried out by scientists at the University of California revealed that men suffering from prostate cancer who spent at least 3 hours a week walking reduced their risk of recurrence.

Our fitness tip

Keep your walks interesting to prevent boredom. Download a walking app, try our walking workout or choose different locations and routes every day.

#4. Prevent osteoarthritis

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise, so it can help prevent osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The more aerobic activities you do, such as walking, the healthier your cartilage will be - so healthy knees are pracrtically guaranteed!

Our fitness tip

Use rewards to motivate yourself, such as having a pedicure, buying yourself some new workout gear or choosing a new pair of shoes.

#5. Lower your risk of heart disease

Did you know that walking can help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease? Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease, keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check.

Our fitness tip

Use a pedomoter, smart watch or other fitness tracker to keep on top of your progress and make sure you set yourself new goals every week to stay motivated.

#6. Get a mood boost

Feeling under the weather? Going for a brisk walk can boost your mood and may be helpful in alleviating mild depression. A recent study carried out in Portugal showed that adults suffering from depression who walked for between 30 and 45 minutes around 5 times a week showed significant improvements in their depression symptoms.

Our fitness tip

Soak up some vitamin D by taking your walking workout outside, to boost your mental well-being. Don't forget to wear sun cream or a moisturiser with SPF to protect your skin!

#7. Reduce risk of stroke

According to a study published in Stroke journal, women who walked briskly several times a week had a greatly decreased risk of stroke compared to those who never or rarely walked. This is because walking can lower blood pressure, and high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke. Decreasing the salt levels in your diet can also help to reduce blood pressure.

Our fitness tip

Why not join a walking club in your area? Not only will you make new friends, you'll enjoy your walks more and are more likely to commit to walking regularly and staying motivated.

#8. Reduce pain

Walking can help to reduce pain from arthritis - just one hour of walking a day could prevent disability in the future. A study published in Arthritis Care and Research showed walking 6,000 steps or more could significantly benefit mobility.

Our fitness tip

Turn your walk into a competitive one by setting yourself goals or targets. Try imagining that the people ahead of you are 'in the race' and that you have to overtake them all, one by one, to reach your goal. Or go walking with a fitness buddy who is slightly fitter than you, as this can help you to work harder.

#9. Prevent and control diabetes

Going for a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk can help to lower your blood sugar for 24 hours. Walking can also help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, and weight loss could prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.

Our fitness tip

Get yourself some comfy workout gear. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes that are easy to move in will ensure you stick to your walks and look and feel great!


READ THIS NEXT: Move for 30 minutes a day and turbo charge your life!

Works cited:

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2910206/Lack-exercise-kills-TWICE-people-obesity.html

  2. http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/1106/walk-more-to-live-longer.aspx

  3. http://journals.humankinetics.com/jpah-back-issues/jpah-volume-10-issue-5-july/dog-ownership-and-physical-activity-a-review-of-the-evidence

Author By Paula Beaton
Date On 22nd Jun 2015 at 11:31
Comments

No Comments

Add Comment

More Related Articles

Load More