Walking into a healthy lifestyle
You must have heard from a lot of people about their goals of getting 10,000 steps in a day. That is because walking is a great exercise and has great benefits. It’s good for your physical and mental health, absolutely free of charge and you can do it just about anywhere. So, what’s there not to like about it? Let’s get into the benefits of walking details:
Physical Benefits of Walking
- Helps you maintain a healthy weight. A brisk walk for 30 minutes can help you burn 180-220 calories.
- Improves blood circulation, heart health and can help prevent high blood pressure and high cholesterol in the long run.
- Strengthens bones and muscles and eases joint pain.
- Improves sleep.
Mental Benefits of Walking
While the physical benefits are notable, a daily routine in walking can help you with your mental boost. According to a study done by Stanford University, walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. They call it “divergent thinking,” defined as the thought process used to generate creative ideas. According to the study, “The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical mobility.”
- Proven mood booster. It results in an increase in joviality versus the same time spent sitting. Walking in nature was found to reduce thinking about negative experiences.
- Improves memory and prevents the deterioration of brain tissue. Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression also suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout when it comes to relieving the symptoms of anxiety and boosting mood.
For some people, walking can be boring and can sound like a chore. Here are the few things you can do while walking ultimately helping your physical health and boost your mood.
Things to do when walking:
- Thinking/Barnstorming – struggling with a problem? Since walking can soothe your mind and can help you think clearly, it’s a good way to get into the zone of problem solving.
- Walking Meditation – counting your breaths while you’re walking can be a good way to meditate and relax your mind.
- Listen to audio books – if you want to catch up on your books, audio books are a great alternative. This is an absolutely fantastic way to enjoy a walk, pass the time quickly, and add to your knowledge base. They have great benefits and there are a lot of resources available to listen to an audiobook while you are on your daily walk.
- Photography – You can easily carry your phone or a small camera and snap a photo or two.
- Enjoy the environment and weather - Just being outdoors in the fresh air gives you a mental boost. Self-esteem is boosted by all outdoor exercise.
- Meet and Greet - Does it get any better than spending quality time with your friends and family while you’re getting your exercise? Deepest conversations take place while walking.
It’s well known that walking can be great exercise when it’s added to your daily routine. Remember, it’s important to set realistic goals. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and try several short sessions of activity throughout the day. Just think, any amount of activity is better than none at all. Also, keeping a record of how many steps you take, the distance you walk and how long it takes and it can help you see where you started from and serve as a source of inspiration.