The Benefits of Walking
Getting into a regular walking routine is easy... you just have to take the first step.
At PrivateDoc, the number one form of exercise we recommend to our patients is walking...
Why? Because it's accessible to everyone, it's free & we all know how to do it! Here are our top 15 benefits of walking:
1. Burn calories
Getting up and going for a walk will increase your overall calorie burn, this is great for those looking to lose weight as it is a simple and easy way to bump up your calorie burn. - to this Getting up and going for a walk will increase your overall calorie burn, this is great for those looking to lose weight as it is a simple and easy way to bump up your total energy expenditure.
2. Get fresh air
Getting fresh air by going for a walk brings with it a wealth of benefits; fresh air helps clear the lungs, *gives you a better intake of oxygen and usually means you get a blast of vitamin D too.
3. Screen- free time
A study by watchdog Ofcom found that the average adult in the UK spends around 6 hours and 25 minutes on their phone per day. In addition, if you're working an office job, your screen time is going to be even higher! Allowing your eyes some rest, improved sleep & being more connected with others and your surroundings are just a few benefits of the screen free time walking allows.
4. Reduce stress
If in doubt, walk it out. When stress hits it takes a huge toll on our bodies.Walking outside boosts stress-busting endorphins which help to regulate hormones. Taking a step outside also gives you a temporary break from your stressors, giving you time to clear your mind and return a-fresh.
5. Better for the environment
If you can walk to wherever you're travelling to instead of drive, you're doing your bit for the environment. What's more, as well as reducing your CO2 emissions, you also save the dreaded search for a parking space - win-win!
6. Saves money
Walking is the cheapest form of travel - it's free! Why not create a walking money box- , every time you walk where you would normally have driven, pack your pennies you've saved in your money box and once you've walked far enough there will be a nice 'treat yourself' reward!
7. Improves sleep
Sleep is critical for us to function normally, but particularly if you're trying to lose weight. When you're sleep deprived and dieting, you often experience higher levels of hunger hormones. Getting out and walking not only helps you fall asleep by regulating your circadian rhythms, the extra exercise will help puff you out and get you ready for bed!
8. Accessible for everyone, anytime, anywhere.*
Part of the beauty of walking is that it’s quite literally on your doorstep. Not every walk has to be a big adventure, even whipping round the block will make a difference. Whether you’re heading out alone, with friends & family or the dog; whether you're up North or down South, we can all get out for a walk.
9. Reduce Type 2 diabetes risk
A recent study published by Harvard University shows 30 minutes of brisk walking can reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 30 percent. If that's not a reason to lace up and get out there - we don't know what is!
10. Gets your creative juices flowing
Do your best ideas seem to spring to you whilst walking? A Stanford study found that walking does indeed boost creative inspiration. The study examined creativity levels of people while they were walking vs whilst seated, on average a person's creativity levels increased by 60% when walking!
11. Can curb sugar cravings
Walking for just 15 minutes was discovered to help curb cravings in overweight people in a study by the University of Innsbruck. Mild exercise can also trigger metabolic processes that make more blood sugar available to the brain, reducing the craving for sugary foods.
12. Can improve mental health
Walking works wonders for your mental health. Being active reduces many of the triggers of poor mental health and a simple walk is often enough to help. Time outdoors, away from stressors and distractions can significantly improve your overall mood and wellbeing. It is often said that walking is as important for our mental health as it is for our physical health.
13. Helps focus
Our lives are full of distractions, but a quick walk can help you stay focused on the task and sharpen your thinking. A quick walk has been shown to give your concentration an often much-needed boost, so switch your coffee for a walk round the block!
14. Can be a social / family activity
Walking is a great social activity for all the family to spend quality time together. With no distractions from the tv, gadgets or toys it's a great time to engage with your family and friends. Particularly in these challenging times with Covid-19, a walk with a friend is a great way to maintain a social life! (rules permitting)
15. Strengthen your heart
Walking for just 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by approximately 19%.
It's clear with every step there are benefits of walking so we encourage you to get out and walk more today!
* A recent study published by Harvard University shows 30 minutes of brisk walking can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 30 percent. If that's not a reason to lace up and get out there - we don't know what is!