Updated: Apr 25
Walking is one of the easiest and most accessible forms of exercise that can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels. The benefits of walking are numerous and extend beyond just physical health. In this blog post, we will explore the various ways in which walking can improve our overall health and wellbeing.
1. Cardiovascular benefits
Walking is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. Not only does it support the health of the heart and lungs it can considerably lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, significantly reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It is also a really effective way to reach the NHS recommended activity levels of 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week!
2. Mental Health Benefits
Walking can be incredibly beneficial for our mental health. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve mood and self-esteem. Walking in nature is particularly effective with studies showing that spending time in green spaces can reduce stress levels and improve mental wellbeing. The fresh air can do us worlds of good!
3. Physical Health
Regular walking also helps to maintain a healthy weight and can support weight loss goals. The calories burned by regular, moderate intensity walking contributes to your overall energy expenditure throughout the day. If this is maintained consistently, it can be equally as effective as engaging in other forms of physical activity. Setting daily targets can be a great method for tracking progress and keeping consistent.
The NHS recommends that 7-10,000 steps is a good step target to work towards.. Have you done your steps today?
It can also help to improve bone density, reducing the risk of debilitating conditions such as osteoporosis and fractures, which can have severe consequences on quality of life. It can also help to improve joint mobility and flexibility, reducing the risk of arthritis and other joint-related conditions. As walking is a low-impact exercise, it's suitable for people with joint pain or other physical limitations.
Lastly, one of the biggest benefits of walking is that it can significantly improve sleep quality. Regular physical activity has been shown to improve the duration and quality of sleep, leading to better overall health and wellbeing. Walking can also help to regulate the body's circadian rhythm, which is important for maintaining healthy sleep patterns.
And there you have it, walking is such a simple and accessible form of exercise with plenty of fantastic health benefits. Regular walking can improve cardiovascular health, mental wellbeing, weight management, bone density, joint mobility, and sleep quality. So, whether it's a leisurely stroll around the park or a brisk walk to work, try to incorporate more walking into your daily routine and enjoy the benefits of this low-impact, yet highly effective form of exercise!
Here at Healthbox, we run a variety of walking groups around Cheshire that local residents can enjoy together on a weekly basis! If you’d like to join a group, click here to find your nearest.