You can’t beat a good walk.
You get outside, stretch your legs, and enjoy some fresh air at an agreeable pace. It’s no surprise at all that over 145 million of us include walking as part of our exercise regime.
However, for every person that loves walking, there’s another who underrates it.
Walking’s deemed too slow to make any actual difference to health! Many see it as pointless compared to going for a run, or to the gym.
The reality, though, is very different! Everybody benefits from going for a walk.
But why, exactly, is walking good exercise for everyone?
That’s the question we’ve decided to talk about today. We want to help you ignore the naysayers and highlight why walking is brilliant for wellbeing.
Sound good? Read on to discover why everyone stands to gain from walking more!
1. It’s Ideal If You’re Overweight
Not everybody has the luxury of skinny genes.
For one reason or another, many people in the US (and around the world) struggle with their weight. Physical issues, dietary problems, general ignorance and bad eating habits all contribute; rates of obesity are at an all-time high.
The weight that some people carry can make intense exercise (like running) almost impossible. Their body just isn’t ready for it; even trying can be dangerous.
Walking is usually still an option though.
It’s less impactful and requires less physical exertion, which makes it a perfect starting point for losing weight and getting fitter. Overweight people can start with a slow walk and gradually build up.
As they begin to strengthen their muscles and lose weight, more intense exercise will become possible.
2. It’s Ideal If You’re Injured
The same goes for people who struggle with all manner of injuries.
Imagine someone with pain in their feet, ankles, knees, hips or back. Going for a run or hitting the gym just isn’t feasible. They risk exacerbating the injury and causing debilitating levels of pain.
Walking, though, might be possible.
As we mentioned in our previous point, it involves less impact. Feet hit the ground with less power and frequency. There’s also more control over each step, which lends itself to less discomfort.
In simple terms, people with injuries can go for a walk without suffering excessive pain. The benefits of getting outdoors and staying active remain available, in spite of their ailment(s).
3. It Can Actively Reduce Pain
This point relates to the last.
There’s reason to believe that walking can actually reduce any pain that you’re experiencing. For example, regular short strolls may improve levels of endurance and decrease the pain of people with back problems.
Always check with your doctor before trying it! You never know, though, walking might hold the key to lowering your pain-levels. Not only is walking the only viable form of exercise for some injured people, then, but it might actually facilitate their recovery.
4. It’s Ideal for the Elderly
Elderly people are another group of individuals who benefit from walking.
You can’t expect your grandma to go sprinting around the local race track!
The majority of older members of society won’t be able to exercise as they did in the past. As the years go by, it’s natural to become increasingly frail. Muscle mass starts to dwindle and you become unsteady on your feet.
Almost everyone will need support just to stand up at a certain point. Throw injuries and underlying health conditions into the mix and intense exercise become impracticable.
The good news is that walking remains an option for far longer.
Sure, older people might need support as they go. For instance, take Nordic walking, where the poles involved provide helpful extra stability. Yet the slower pace involved with walking means it remains a viable form of exercise in general.
The elderly can get out and remain active, regardless of their age.
5. It Lifts Your Spirits
The benefits of walking don’t stop at the physical level.
It provides a host of mental advantages too.
Now, that’s true of all exercise. Living an active lifestyle that’s full of physical activity protects against everything from low mood to anxiety. It bolsters self-esteem and gets the endorphins flowing.
However, what’s remarkable about walking is that you enjoy such perks without excessive exertion. Walking can be fast-paced and effortful, for sure. But it can also be slower and more sedate.
Yet the mental health benefits involved will occur regardless.
This means that they’re open to everyone! As we’ve seen, other forms of exercise are unavailable to certain members of society. If it wasn’t for walking, then they’d struggle to reap the mental/emotional rewards that exercising offers.
6. It Sparks Inspiration
There’s something liberating about walking.
Stretching your legs in the great outdoors helps free up your mind and body.
On the mental side of things, that can be good news in terms of creativity and problem-solving. Go for a walk and you’ll find it easier to imagine a solution to issues you’re facing.
That can be an important insight for workaholics. The answer might not lay behind the desk! You might have to leave the office and walk around the block in order to stumble across it.
7. It Cuts the Risk of Death
Death is something most people would rather not think about.
It’s a fate that pretty much everyone wants to avoid.
Alas, it’s going to happen one day. But, and it’s a big but, there’s evidence that walking can slash your chances of meeting an untimely demise. Get walking (or engaging in other light exercises) and you literally reduce the risk of death.
Why Is Walking Good Exercise? Now You Know!
Is walking good exercise?
The answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’. Everybody stands to gain in a plethora of ways from walking more. Hopefully, this post has explained why that’s the case!
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