Everyone thinks they need a fancy gym membership or expensive exercise equipment to reap physical activity’s health benefits. However, not everyone has the bones, joints, physical, or mental capacity for high-impact cardio. That’s why it still helps to walk.
Walking has taken a backseat to many exercises because people think if you’re not sweating it out on a treadmill, then you’re not benefiting at all. Yes, walking has become the definition of the word “underrated” when it comes to exercising.
- Improved mood
- Stronger joints
- Better sleep
- Better circulation
- Improved mental health
- Weight loss
If you’re someone who suffers from chronic joint pain, then high-impact cardio such as running might be worse for you, despite its health benefits. Lightly walking helps to circulate fluid to your joints, which brings them much-needed nutrients.
It’s no secret that exercise helps improve sleep for those who have insomnia. However, you don’t need to hit the weights with vigorous activity for better sleep. Not only does getting fresh air and sunlight help to promote a healthy circadian rhythm, but it reduces stress, which lowers cortisol levels before bedtime. Not only does walking help suppress cortisol levels, but it helps boost sleep hormones like melatonin.
However, it’s not just about going outside for a walk for a couple of minutes. You need to sustain a steady walking pace for at least 40 minutes of at least 3 miles an hour. Even if you aren’t able to dedicate that block of time for walking, shorter sessions throughout the day are still better than nothing if your goal is to lower your blood pressure, lose weight, reduce your chances of getting heart disease, and live an overall healthier life.