Updated: Feb 4
So, you’ve decided to start a journey towards better health in 2022? Congratulations! That is a big step and quite possibly an overwhelming one. With so many options and ways to lose weight or simply improve your health it can be hard to know where to even start. Thankfully you have us at Buckner Wellness to forge a clearer path for you to accomplish all your health goals this year.
If you haven’t already be sure to check out our guide on The 90 Day Body Fat Challenge. We will also be providing you with weekly tips on simple things you can do to get started (and keep going) on your weight loss, health and fitness journey. This week’s tip will focus on walking and its many health boosting benefits.
Like most people you probably are thinking you need to set up a very complex diet and workout schedule in order to get healthier. What if we told you it is much simpler than that?
Scheduling 30 minutes a day (15 minutes going and 15 minutes back) can make a big impact on your health while taking very little extra effort. This is a particularly great way of getting into the groove of a health regimen again without causing burnout by doing too much too soon. Walking is an easy way to create a habit that you can build up as you advance your health and fitness, but it has many other benefits as well.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING
You burn calories. It may not be as many calories as your hot yoga class, but it’s still something. We are meant to move, so getting up a few times during your workday to simply walk and move around not only keeps you from stiffening up, but helps you meet your daily health and fitness needs.
Your heart gets stronger, and you lower your blood sugar. By walking for at least 30 minutes, five days a week you reduce your risk for coronary heart disease by about 19%. Additionally, taking a walk shortly after eating can help reduce your blood sugar levels and keep your body in better balance.
Keeps joint pain at ease. Like was mentioned above, we are meant to move and the more you move, the less likely you are to suffer from aches and pains. Walking helps to lubricate and strengthen your muscles that are key for supporting your joints. If you are someone who suffers from arthritis, walking a mere five to six miles a week can reduce arthritic pain or help prevent it all together.
Less sick days. It’s not fool-proof, however, studies have shown adults who walked 30-45 minutes a day tracked 43 fewer sick days. Of the people who still did get sick, their symptoms were much less sever and they recovered quicker than sedentary adults.
Get an energy lift and mood booster. Rather than snagging that afternoon coffee, consider going on a walk to beat the 3 p.m. slump. Walking increases your oxygen flow as well as your cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels which in turn wake you up. Taking a walk can also be affective in clearing that negative mood you’ve been in while reducing anxiety, depression and bouts of social withdrawal.
Clear your mind and think more clearly. Studies have shown that walking can help clear that mind-block you’ve been having and come up with more creative solutions to problems you’ve been stuck on. Who doesn’t want that?
Walk in designated areas for pedestrians and make sure if you are walking at night that you stick to well-lit areas.
If you walk at dusk or dawn when the light isn’t great, wear reflective gear so cars can see you.
Make sure you are wearing the proper shoes with good heel and arch support for your needs.
Similarly, make sure you wear appropriate clothing for your walking conditions.
Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if you are going to be walking outside!