Amid balancing work, school and other obligations, it can be challenging to participate in comprehensive physical activities such as going to the gym or playing a sport.
However, along with following an appropriate diet, there is a simple and convenient way to stay healthy: walking for about 30 minutes a day. The health benefits of walking are numerous and include weight loss, stress relief, decreased risk of chronic disease, toned legs and improved digestive health.
1. Weight loss
Regular walking is a great way to lose weight. In addition to keeping the body active and burning calories, walking has also been shown to improve insulin response in the body, which can yield a reduction in belly fat.
What’s more, walking decreases muscle loss in the body and improves your shape over time. By adopting a daily walking routine, you can begin to fit into those jeans that were once too tight!
2. Reduced stress
Walking is a great way to relieve stress caused by anger, depression or other stressors in our lives. As you exercise, even if it’s just a simple stroll in the park, you release endorphins. Consequently, your mood is boosted and you have more positivity, motivation, and energy.
The walking experience can also be meditative. This repetitive, and sometimes scenic, exercise allows you to take time out of your daily schedule and focus on yourself as you organize your thoughts and reflect on life.
In addition, walking tends to connect us with others in the social sphere and leave us feeling relaxed and motivated. If you take a walk along a nature trail or head outside on a sunny day, the environment can boost your mood as you burn calories and develop muscles.
3. Decreased risk of chronic disease
A regular walking routine can become a formidable antidote against chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. In fact, research shows that walking reduces blood sugar levels, thereby decreasing diabetes risk factors as a result.
Further research shows that walking for 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week can decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 20 percent to 40 percent.
4. Toned legs
As we grow older, we tend to get a collection of unsightly leg veins that occur as a result of blood being pushed slowly back to the heart after it circulates throughout the body.
Through regular walking, you can reduce this vein accumulation by strengthening the blood vessels in the lower portions of your body. Strengthened vessels will push blood back to the heart more effectively, keeping your legs looking healthy.
5. Improved abdominal health
Did you know that walking makes your digestive system operate more effectively? Specifically, this type of exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles and improves how you ingest and digest food. That’s one reason why people who have undergone abdominal surgery are encouraged to take a daily walk as part of their recovery routine.
It’s hard to resist the great health benefits of walking! If you’re looking to start a routine, check out some great places to take a stroll in San Antonio.