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Walking is incredibly underrated given its sheer amount of health benefits! Here are some ways walking can bolster your physical health.
Walking is a great way to burn extra calories and shed excess weight. Because walking increases your heart rate, it causes you to expend energy and burn calories. How many calories you burn while walking depends on the duration of your walk, the terrain on which you are walking, and your starting weight. Try to walk at for an extended period at brisk pace and slight incline to burn more calories.
Walking also helps you to improve and maintain your energy levels by increasing blood flow in the body. Increased blood flow helps distribute oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and, as a result, increases energy.
Do you get sick frequently? Walking can help to boost your immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in your blood that fight infections and viruses.
Walking can also help to reduce muscle and joint pain by warming up your muscles and making it easier for your body to move.
If you are at risk for heart disease, you may want to consider taking walks. People who prioritize walking are on average 31% less likely to experience cardiovascular complications.
In addition to physical health benefits, walking can also help to address and alleviate common mental health concerns.
Aerobic workouts such as walking help to reduce stress by decreasing natural stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Many studies have shown that a brief walk outside in nature can help to significantly improve your mood. The next time you feel down or upset, take a walk and visibly feel your mood improve.
Lastly, walking for three or more hours a week has been shown to help fight and guard against depression.
If you are unsure whether walking or running is right for you, consider these points.
If you are just beginning your fitness journey or if you experience muscle or joint pain, daily walks are a great low intensity and low impact way to get in your exercise.
If your main goal is to lose excess fat and burn calories, running may be a better option for you. Remember to take it slow in your transition from walking to running and be aware of how your joints are feeling.