Robert Sallis, M.D., a sports medicine doctor with Kaiser Permanente, states, walking is the most studied form of exercise. Multiple studies have proven that the benefits of walking improve our overall health, and increase our longevity and functional years.
We do it just about everyday of our lives, walking that is. The average moderately active person “takes around 7,500 step a day” or about 2.6 million steps a year. If you maintain that daily average and live until 80 years of age, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime. I know personally, when I previously tracked my steps using a Fitbit watch (now an Apple watch), I passed the 20 million step mark after 7 years. Anyway, that is a great deal of walking. But have you ever wondered about the potential benefits from all of the walking that you’re doing?
For those that really love the activity, increasing your step count offers additional health benefits when it comes to walking. People that consistently walk at least 12,500 steps (6.5 miles) each day have better cardiometabolic profiles. A cardiometabolic profile or marker describes a person’s chances of having a cardiovascular event such as heart attack or stroke when one or more risk factors are present.
Here are just a few of the many benefits you receive from walking.
You Get a Boost of Energy
Walking is no exception, and the great news is you don’t have to walk for hours to experience all the benefits. Going for just a 20-minute walk for three days every week for six weeks can result in 20 percent more energy levels and less feelings of fatigue, according to research by the University of Georgia that was published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
You’ll Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
This particular walking benefit is a personal favorite of mine. It especially holds true if you head out for a walk right after eating a big meal (especially a high carb meal). According to a 2016 study of people who suffer from Type-2 diabetes, which was published in the journal Diabetologia, heading out for a 10-minute walk after eating a meal helped test subjects lower their blood sugar levels.
You’ll Deal Less with Anxiety & Depression
Health experts at The Mayo Clinic, report performing exercise like walking can potentially ease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. The body releases endorphins during exercise which “enhance your sense of wellbeing.” Endorphins can also distract your mind “so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts.” Finally, they help you gain confidence “meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence.”
You’ll Burn More Calories and May Even Lose Weight
If you take a brisk 20-minute walk you’ll burn somewhere in the realm of 90 to 110 calories for your effort. For the record, a “brisk” walk is one that is fast enough that you can talk but you cannot sing. Studies also show that walking can be a terrific way to lose weight. The Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry, found women who walked over the course of a 12-week study lost belly fat. Build up to walking 30-45 minutes a day is a great first step. There are many studies showing this is the sweet spot in terms of benefits. It can broken up, into two or three mini walks, throughout the day as well.
You’ll be Heart Healthy & Live Longer
The British Journal of Sports Medicine reported in a 2018, that brisk walking was directly linked with a lower risk of heart disease and death. Also, older people (above 60 years in age) who increased their walking pace, experienced a 53 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease. A second study published in 2015, this time in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a brisk 20-minute walk every day reduces your risk of death by upwards of 30 percent.
Another Benefit of Walking is Your Bones Will Get Stronger
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are about 28 million people in the United States who suffer from osteoarthritis, and it’s a condition that women are more prone to than men.
According to the health experts at the UK’s Ashtead Hospital, taking daily walks is crucial for healthy and strong bones. “Bone is living tissue and becomes stronger with exercise,” they write. “Walking involves your feet and legs supporting your weight so that your bones have to work harder and this makes them stronger.”
Hopefully these tips were insightful and they will keep you motivated to continue with your daily walks. Remember, “physical inactivity is as harmful to your health as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.” This according to Steven Blair, PhD, University of South Carolina, a leading exercise researcher.
Use Jefit to Record & Track Your Cardio & Strength Workouts
Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC Magazine, Men’s Health, The Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.