Improving your health doesn’t have to mean taking up kickboxing or running ultra-marathons. Walking just 20 minutes every day can provide a host of benefits. It is also easy, free, and fun! Let’s look at seven major benefits, you can look forward to after you begin walking for health.
7 Benefits of Walking 20 Minutes a Day
Walking for Health
Walking is recommended by the American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American College of Sports Medicine. It can easily be integrated into your daily routine. Adding a few minutes of walking can be as easy as parking farther away. You are more likely to stick with walking than any other form of exercise.
With so many benefits from a slimmer waistline to a longer life, it’s no wonder walking is recommended by so many health organizations. Walking also boosts your mood, making it great for both body and soul. Walking can benefit almost every part of your body! Your morning stroll might just be the easiest way to stay healthy.
1. Good for Your Bones
Osteoporosis is the most common cause of broken bones as we age and often has no visible symptoms. A broken bone is typically the first indication that bone mass is being lost. Bones can be weakened to such an extent that they may break with only minor stress or even spontaneously. It is important to focus on prevention, as you may not be aware of the problem until it is too late.
Did you know that walking daily can reduce your risk of fracture by up to 40 percent? Walking can also reduce your risk of disability, helping those who have symptoms of osteoarthritis remain independent for longer.
2. Good for Your Heart
In the United States, Heart Disease is the leading cause of death. Major risk factors of heart disease include high blood pressure, being overweight, and physical inactivity. Walking reduces all these major risk factors and may improve circulation as well as raise your heart rate, which will strengthen your heart.
Improving your heart health through walking is surprisingly easy, as it does not take very much to make a big difference. Adding just 1,000 steps a day can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 20 percent. Higher step counts will also produce greater benefits, giving you an amazing amount of control over your health and life expectancy.
3. Good for Your Brain
Walking can boost your brainpower by increasing your brain size and cognitive performance. Your morning stroll can also slow down normal age-related mental decline.
Those who have included walking to their daily routine have reported lower instances of insomnia. Exercise releases endorphins so you feel great when you are done, and those endorphins even help to keep you happy all day. Researchers have suggested this may be part of a complex cycle, which can improve mood and even help combat mood disorders.
4. Good for Your Muscles
Walking strengthens your muscles, especially those in your legs and core. You can get your arm muscles in on the action by pumping them as you walk. Doing this can improve the health of 80 percent of your body’s muscles. A higher level of muscle mass can also have beneficial effects on your immune system.
Stronger muscles will have you active for more years. Exercise can reduce incidences of disability in the elderly. As we age, we naturally lose muscle tone. This process begins in our 30’s and becomes more aggressive as the years add up. Walking can help you to build muscle to slow, stop, or even reverse this process.
5. Good for Your Joints
You may not be aware that your cartilage, the flexible yet firm material that makes up your ears and the tip of your nose, is abundant in your joints. Cartilage contains no blood vessels, meaning it does not receive oxygen and nutrients from your blood. Instead, these are provided by synovial fluid. Without the benefit of a pumping heart to move this fluid where it is needed, the synovial fluid relies on the movement of the body instead. The more you move, the more your joint fluid moves, and the more your joint fluid moves, the healthier your joints are. Walking can help move this fluid around and deliver much-needed oxygen and nutrients to your joint tissue. This will translate to joint longevity and even resistance to wear and tear.
6. Good for Your Waistline
We all know that exercise, along with a healthy, balanced diet, is key to weight loss. When we think of exercise, we tend to imagine jogging or weightlifting, but walking can be just as effective for weight loss. A 20-30 minute walk at a brisk pace can burn up to 200 calories. That might not seem like a whole lot, but it adds up over time.
7. Good for Your Pancreas
As we previously mentioned, walking at least 20 minutes a day may result in significant weight loss. Losing just 10 to 15 pounds may be all it takes to see a big difference in your well-being. Walking can help stabilize your blood sugar levels which can keep sugar cravings at bay. If this is an area you would like to work on, we also encourage you to check out our CSP’s “Pancreas Reg”.
In conclusion, walking daily is beneficial for your whole body! It truly is a holistic wellness practice. The benefits of walking can be enhanced by the right wellness regimen. Check out our Common Sense™ “Maintenance” Wellness Plan for Men and Women for additional ways to boost your health and well-being.