“Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”
~ Steven Wright
It’s no secret that walking is one of the greatest things you can do for your health mentally and physically!
The best part about walking is that you can do it anywhere and anytime.
The benefits of taking a short 10 minute walk once a day is reason enough to put on those running shoes and walk out of your front door.
You don’t have to be a runner to get all of the benefits of exercise. Some would argue that walking is even better for you because you get the same benefits of running while creating less strain for your body.
Let’s take a look at some data along with the top reasons why you should be walking out of the door as soon as you finish reading this…
1. Walking strengthens your heart.
Walking on a regular basis has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease and stroke!
It keeps your blood pressure in check by lowering the levels of LDL cholesterol ( the bad stuff) while increasing levels of HDL cholesterol (the good stuff).
According to the American Heart Association, walking briskly for up to 30 minutes can help prevent and control high blood pressure which can cause strokes – reducing your risk by up to 27%!
2. Lowers the risk of many other unwanted diseases.
Not only does walking strengthen your heart and prevent heart disease, it also has been linked to reducing diabetes, colon cancer and breast cancer according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
In the British study, they reported that 28% of people in England walk less than 30 minutes a week!
This can be something that most people don’t even notice that they do because they take their cars to work or ride the subway which is also only one block away from their front door.
Think about how many minutes you ACTUALLY walk every single day.
Think that if you took only 20 minutes out of your day everyday, you can increase your lifetime and reduce your chances of many of these unwanted diseases.
3. It does wonders for your legs, butt, and stomach.
When walking you are using a combination of various muscles that are all working together and getting stronger.
Walking engages your hamstrings, quads, gluteal muscles, and even your abs!
While you’re walking it may not feel like you are doing much, but walking for an extended period of time gives you the exact same benefits that running gives to those exact same muscles according to a recent article published in Forbes Magazine.
To boost your walk and burn even more calories, engage your arms and move them backwards and forwards as you walk.
This movement not only builds heat within your body, but it also strengthens the muscles in your arms.
4. Walking allows you to clear your thoughts and focus on the task at hand.
You might have heard many people blurt out before in a moment of rage “I need to go take a walk”.
There is something about the act of walking that makes us feel calmer and more in control.
The act of moving forward one step at a time reminds us that we have control over our bodies. Stress is the result of feeling like we are out of control of our own lives. When we take a brisk walk, we regain some of that control and stability that our mind is seeking.
Walking can be done mindlessly if need be. It can let us focus on our problems without other distractions in our way.
It can also let us escape our problems for a few minutes, giving us the calmness and clarity that we so desperately need in certain moments of our lives.
5. Gives you a reason to listen to your favorite tunes.
Walking is a great activity to zone out and listen to some of your favorite music without the distraction of doing something else.
You can listen to upbeat music and increase your pace higher and higher until you are power walking!
Or you can listen to something somber and lyrical that allows you to think mindfully about the things in your life such as solving unanswered questions or thinking about what you can be grateful for.
Have you ever dreamed of being in a movie and having a song playing as you strut down the street?
This is your chance to have that feeling!
6. Gives you loads of Energy!
Taking a 10 minute walk in the morning can be the best way to get your energy going and ready to face the day ahead!
When we are energized, we are so much more productive and focused with our tasks.
When we head into our day with excitement, we are actually BETTER at whatever we are doing because we are more patient and passionate in getting it done.
Making a small commitment such as adding a 10-15 minute walk every morning can result in gigantic benefits that will last you your entire day.
7. Makes you happier.
Simply put, being healthy and energized makes us happy.
When we feel good in our bodies, our minds are clear and calm, and we feel excited to take on the day, we are reaping all of the benefits that walking has to offer.
You can literally walk yourself to happiness if you just incorporate a few minutes of walking into your schedule every single day.
There is nothing wrong with taking baby steps.
Start with just a 5 minute walk. Get your shoes on and walk out of your door.
Getting yourself out of the door is the hardest part.
Once you are out there walking, you will feel the endorphins and energy running through your body making you want to walk even further every single day.
Challenge yourself everyday to walk even further than the day before.
Get yourself out of the door and you will be so happy about it.
Be happy and be proud.
Be proud that you are being active about your happiness, one step at a time.