Eight Reasons Why Taking Walks is Beneficial

August 7, 2019
Despite the fact that taking walks is beneficial, the boom of gyms has pushed this activity onto the back burner. In this article, we'll share eight reasons why you should take walks.

Do you think you have to go to the gym to maintain an active lifestyle? In reality, you don’t! Taking walks every day is very beneficial. In this article, discover eight reasons why.

The Popularity of Walking

Despite the fact that there may be good weather, fewer and fewer people are deciding to do physical activity outdoors. Currently, taking walks has been pushed to the back burner and many people prefer going to the gym.

However, there are very good reasons to ditch the gym and go for a walk instead.

The latest annual European Health & Fitness Market report reflects that gym fitness has become the most practiced physical activity in Europe. However, you don’t need to become a member of a gym to stay healthy.

Taking walks every day is extremely beneficial. In this article, discover eight reasons why.

Taking Walks Helps Reduce Body Fat

Walking is the perfect physical activity to burn body fat. This is because it allows people to maintain a heart rate (HR) at 65% of the maximum heart rate (220-age in men and 226-age in women).

Thus, it guarantees the use of body fat as the primary fuel. Moreover, unlike other cardiovascular activities, it preserves muscle mass.

You should also read: The Most Fun and Effective Outdoor Exercises

It Increases Serotonin Release

Serotonin is a fundamental neurotransmitter for regulating social behavior, emotions, mood, and certain physiological functions such as sleep, food, and muscle contraction. Serotonin deficit is related to several mental disorders such as depression and eating disorders.

Exposure to sunlight and physical activity increases the production of serotonin.

This translates into a better mood and a lower risk of depression and cognitive impairment.

Two women walking.

Practicing physical activities outdoors reduces the risk of depression and dementia.

It Enhances Vitamin D Synthesis

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining good bone, immune, and brain health. Our major source of vitamin D is our skin, as it turns 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 when it comes into contact with sunlight.

Thus, exposure to sunlight is essential to get enough vitamin D, and taking walks is the perfect way to expose yourself to the sun!

Ideally, you should expose at least 10% of your body to the sun every day for 30 minutes without sunscreen.

However, it’s very important to note that you should only expose yourself to the sun without sunscreen during the time period mentioned above. Make sure to wear sunscreen for longer exposure. 

Taking Walks Lowers Blood Pressure

Since walking is an aerobic activity, it’s an ideal way to maintain blood pressure (BP) within a healthy range. A study by Álvarez et al. (2013) discovered a significant BP drop in children, adolescents, and adults after a 60-minute aerobic session.

The Spanish Heart Foundation considers it one of the best activities for controlling blood pressure. In addition, the World Health Organization recommends walking a minimum of 150 minutes a week.

Practicing an aerobic physical activity helps maintain blood pressure within normal limits.

A blood pressure monitor.

It Helps Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels

Taking walks helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. This is due to increased energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity over the following 24-48 hours after practicing physical activity.

Thus, it may reduce the risk of and control Type 2 diabetes.

This article may also interest you: 5 Herbal Remedies for Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels

It Improves Heart and Blood Vessel health

Moderate physical activity, such as walking, improves myocardial contractility. This makes the heart work better and, therefore, last longer in perfect condition.

Furthermore, due to its vasodilator effect, taking walks enhances blood circulation, reduces the risk of circulatory collapse, and, therefore, decreases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains that you should practice physical activity regularly to reap its benefits.

A healthy heart from taking walks

Walking regularly improves heart function and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Taking Walks Helps Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Taking walks helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increases the proportion of HDL protein over LDL.

Furthermore, due to its effect on weight loss, it improves the action of drugs prescribed to lower excess cholesterol.

All of this reduces the risk of ischemic conditions such as the ones mentioned in the previous point.

It Boosts Your Ability to Commit to Physical Activity

Taking a walk is free, doesn’t require a very good physical condition, and can be done anywhere, anytime. This enhances your commitment to physical activity. Also, it means you can do it with anyone!

As you can see, taking walks can help you maintain an active lifestyle and reap all of its benefits. Now that you know, what are you waiting for? Go for a walk today!