According to the CDC, it is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
Walking is a great way to get the physical activity needed to obtain health benefits. Walking does not require any special skills. It also does not require a gym membership or expensive equipment. And during the Covid-19 health crisis we are all facing, walking has become one of the safest and more popular forms of exercise these days. While it is important to follow the safety guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing in certain areas, there are so many places to walk that your physical activity routine won’t get boring. And the best part is how many health benefits you can reap from walking just 20-30 minutes per day:
- Walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress.
- Walking can help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon and other forms of cancer.
- Walking can boost your metabolism to help you burn calories and lose extra weight.
- Walking will aid in improving and keeping your digestive system working more efficiently.
- Walking can improve your mobility, alleviate joint pain and in some cases, help stave off disability and the pain of arthritis.
- Walking can result in a better night’s sleep because it reduces the pain and stress that cause sleep disturbances.
Now that you know the benefits that walking can provide, how do you get started?
- Make sure you have comfortable walking shoes that provide heel and arch support.
- If walking 30 minutes a day is too difficult at first, try smaller bouts of 10 minutes at a time and build up to longer sessions.
- Make walking a pleasure by varying your walk, walking your dog, or walking with friends.
However you choose to walk, make it a part of your regular daily routine and before long you’ll notice that your mood and stress levels will improve, and you’ll reap the benefits of more energy and a healthier new year ahead.