According to Robert Sallis, M.D., a family physician and sports medicine doctor with Kaiser Permanente, “Walking is the most studied form of exercise, and multiple studies have proven that it’s the best thing we can do to improve our overall health, and increase our longevity and functional years.”
Wow, that’s a pretty bold statement. Especially for those that think you have to hit the gym every day to stay fit and healthy. If you’re shooting for particular fitness goals, the weights at the gym and a running regimen might be right for you, but if you simply want to stay active and healthy, and improve multiple aspects of your health, walking offers a multitude of benefits!
Let’s take a look at some of the most awesome benefits of walking.
Improves Memory and Cognitive Function
Running doesn’t just improve your body’s health, it can help your brain health.
In a study of 299 adults, published in the journal Neurology in 2010, it was found that walking was associated with a greater volume of gray matter in the brain. The more gray matter, the better your brain health.
Improves Your Mood
Most aerobic exercise boosts your mood, but if you can take a walk out in nature? Even better. Walking has been known to reduce anxiety, depression, and bad moods. Got a case of the grumps? Try 30 minutes of brisk walking at least 3 days a week.
This kind of activity stimulates the chemicals in your brain that help improve your mental state.
Strengthen Your Heart
Be good to your heart, take it for a walk.
According to the American Heart Association, walking at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact, sitting too much increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Eases Joint Pain
Walking lubricates and strengthen the muscles that support your joints so they are better protected and therefore experience less pain. Even better news for your achy joints? According to Harvard, walking 5-6 miles a week may help prevent arthritis.
Boosts Your Immune System
Feel like you get sick all the time? Get out your walk shoes (before the next time you get sick, not during!). When you walk 30–45 minutes day, you might start to notice yourself taking fewer sick days and getting fewer upper respiratory infections.
Helps You Think Creatively
Need to get the ideas flowing? Get moving. Walking stimulates the part of the brain that increases creativity and can help you see an old problem in a new way.
Given all these benefits, it’s not surprising that the simple act of slipping on your walking shoes 3 hours a week can help you reduce your risk of premature death by 11 percent. Whoa.
And you can start taking advantage of these advantages later in life. Seniors who began a regular walking routine can experience some of the same benefits and experience a lengthening of their life.
Don’t Walk Wrong
Yes, there is a wrong way to walk. Take advice from Aerosmith and “walk this way.” If you don’t walk with the right form, you can risk injury which will cancel all of the amazing benefits walking provides!
Yes, you could actually be moving BETTER. How? Check out The Playmaker’s Good Form Walking Clinic and find out.
You should also make sure your walking shoes are properly supporting you when you strap them on and hit the streets. Orange Insoles provides additional comfort and support for any size running or walking shoe. Check out our inventory to find your size today!