22 September 2023
Discover The Benefits of Walking and Celebrate World Walking Day
Walking has numerous advantages, including helping us take better care of our bodies and minds while connecting us more with nature with each step. Although we feel we rarely have enough time in our hectic schedules, if we want to support our overall health, we should incorporate walking into our daily routines.
The Advantages of Regular Walking
Here are some scientifically proven benefits of walking to inspire you to get moving and help incorporate walking into your daily routine:
- Lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases
Walking, according to a study published in Nature Medicine, lowers the risk of a variety of chronic conditions. Walking can help aid with health problems like obesity, sleep apnoea, diabetes, and hypertension. The American Diabetes Association recommends walking to lower blood sugar levels. Furthermore, other research has shown that walking can help to strengthen the immune system. According to studies, people who walk more spend less time in the hospital.
- Enhances mood
You may have noticed that taking walks outside makes you feel better mentally and physically. Consider the times after which you spent time in nature when you felt more energetic, had an improvement in your mood, and even have been able to clear your mind of negative thoughts. These outcomes are supported by scientific evidence. According to research, walking reduces anxiety, improves negative moods, and lowers the risk of depression. Walking can also improve self-perception and is an encouraged method for improving your mental health.
- Helps with weight management
Walking has a direct impact on your physical health. Walking on a regular basis can help you lose weight by burning fat or meet your exercise requirements to maintain your current weight. For example, instead of taking the lift the next time, try taking the stairs, which can help contribute to your desired results in terms of both weight management and physical fitness. If weight loss is of concern, consider walking uphill instead of on flat ground as it burns more calories. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking helps to strengthen your bones which can reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life.
- Enhances sleep quality
You might not have expected walking to be related to sleep health. However, studies show that regular walking improves sleep quality. Evening walks can be a part of an improved sleep hygiene protocol that may help you to fall asleep faster.
- Promotes brain health
One of the most enjoyable ways to support brain health is to go for a walk. Walking on a regular basis has been shown in studies to improve cognitive skills and memory. Furthermore, it promotes neuroplasticity, which helps brain cells and connections stay healthy. As a result, it acts as a defence against the neurodegenerative diseases associated with ageing. Walking is thus one of the most effective ways to protect your health today and in the future.
- Boosts productivity and creativity
Walking can help you clear your mind and assist in creative thinking by providing mental relaxation. As a result, you may notice increased capability in productive and creative work. Many studies show that walking, particularly outside, helps people produce more original work and generate new ideas.
How many steps should we take each day for a healthy lifestyle?
So, you may be wondering, "How many steps do we need to take in a day to gain benefits from walking?" There are different considerations about this subject, but in general, the number of daily steps that many researchers and scientists concluded is around 4,000. Dr. Lee of Harvard Medical School discovered that women who took 4,400 steps per day had a lower risk of death than women who took 2,700 steps per day. A 2021 study published in JAMA Network Open, on the other hand, discovered that 7,000 steps per day for people aged 38 to 50 was associated with a lower mortality rate.
Are 10,000 steps necessary?
Another issue that comes up frequently when it comes to daily walking and step count is the10,000 steps rule. You've probably heard of the 10,000-step-per-day goal, but recent research has shown that it doesn't provide any additional benefits. According to Healthline, walking 10,000 steps is not harmful, but additional walking is unnecessary. A 2022 study found that walking promotes overall health even if you don't walk 10,000 steps. Walking 8,000-10,000 steps per day may be sufficient to protect health for people up to the age of 60, according to this study. After the age of 60, 6,000-8,000 steps per day appear to be sufficient. Of course, the choice is entirely yours!
Walking Day Around the World
Whether you complete 4,000, 8,000, or 10,000 steps some days, it doesn’t really matter as long as you make it a habit to walk regularly every day for your health. World Walking Day may provide you with the motivation you need to get started.
World Walking Day is observed annually on the first weekend of October to encourage people to walk regularly and raise awareness about wellness This day is an excellent opportunity to take action to adopt a healthy lifestyle. You can also use this opportunity to motivate your loved ones to go on walks together.