We all know walking is good for us, we have been told our entire lives to go for a walk each day to treat and prevent many medical issues. Walking might just be the most beneficial activity you can do and has even been proven to help you live longer. There is a lot more to being fit and healthy than looking the part. Being healthy means preparing our bodies and minds for a future of optimal performance. Aside from literally adding years to your life, here are a few reason you should get out and walk every day
4. Burn Calories
Weather you want to lose weight or maintain a heathy weight walking might just be the best tool you have. Walking burns a surprising amount of calories for being such a mellow relaxing activity. In order to determine the amount of calories you burn while walking, you must consider a couple variables, such as speed and the weight of the walker. Map my walk has a handy calculator to help get an idea of how many calories you burn doing various activities based on your body size. For me at 6’2” and 185 lb a thirty minute walk will can burn up to 200 calories.
3. Workout Large Muscle Groups.
Walking engages some of the largest muscles in our bodies. These big muscles include your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower legs, including your calves and tibialis anterior muscle. Your upper body is also indirectly targeted while you walk, mainly your abs and lower back stabilizing your torso and your shoulder as you sway your arms. People with lower back pain can benefit from walking due to the increased strength in the muscles responsible for supporting the spine. Check out this video that shows the biomechanics involved in simply walking.
2. Low Impact
While you may not be able to burn as many calories walking as you could running, the lack of impact on your body, your joints specifically could make walking a more beneficial activity. The amount of impact your body receives refers mainly to the amount of pounding force your body endures during a cardio work out. When you walk your feet don’t leave the ground ( aside from when you step of course) this avoids dealing with your feet slamming the ground time after time. This is why walking can be so great for people who have joint or connective tissue issues.
1. Mental Health Benefits
Personally I have an overwhelming urge to walk when something is troubling me. I just walk and walk until I come up with some sort of conclusion or solution. To me being in motion seems to signify progress, making walking the perfect activity for reducing stress and problem solving. Walking has also been associated with the prevention of cognitive decay while walking certainly can’t cure Alzheimer’s it can sure help in the prevention of this disease when you are younger.
Amy A. Hakim, et. al. “Effects of Walking on Mortality among Nonsmoking Retired Men.” New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 338:94-99, January 8, 1998, Number 2.