Walking: The Best Exercise for Mind and Body - Step To Health

Walking: The Best Exercise for Mind and Body

Did you know that walking is the best exercise for both your mind and body? We'll explain why in today's article.
Walking: The Best Exercise for Mind and Body

Last update: 09 December, 2021

Have you ever wondered what might be the best exercise for your mind and body? What options have you thought of? Did you include walking among them?

If you haven’t, we invite you to do so from now on, because this simple exercise has a lot to contribute to your health. In fact, few exercises are so therapeutic and suitable for almost any age.

According to the European Society of Cardiology, walking for 20-25 minutes every day helps you to take care of your heart and enjoy overall excellent well-being. This includes having a healthy weight, toned legs, and a good resistance capacity. Meanwhile, on a psychological level, it can help relieve emotional tension and stress.

Moreover, according to experts at Harvard University, walking every day for the time mentioned above or even more can help you gain between 3 and 7 more years of life.

So why not integrate more walking into your routine? All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a nice area to walk in that also helps your blood oxygenate. It would be ideal if you went to the countryside or a green area enabled for walking.

We’ll offer you five good reasons why you should start today!

Walking, a good anti-stress remedy

chica camina por la playa

We must keep in mind that the biggest enemy of health in today’s society are stress, routine, and negative thoughts. Sometimes, the simple fact of doing the same thing every day ends up “automating” the brain, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a brain lacking in stimuli and rest.

  • Going for a walk, without pressure, and without any other obligations with a bottle of water and the proper equipment is a mental release that the brain’s neurons are grateful for.
  • When we walk, our thoughts don’t seem so consuming anymore, we oxygenate our cells, and, suddenly, life loses its rigidity to allow us to be freer.
  • Walking also helps us to reconnect with our emotional needs. We initiate a liberating internal dialogue that relaxes many brain structures to regulate the neurochemistry associated with stress.

Walking makes us more creative and helps us find solutions to our problems

It may seem silly, but something as simple as a change of scenery to get your heart pumping and provide higher levels of oxygen to the brain promotes the release of certain neurotransmitters. This can help achieve the following:

  • It helps you to regulate cortisol levels (the higher the level, the more stress appears).
  • Walking reorganizes the neurochemistry of the frontal cortex of the brain, where we establish plans, goals, and where new ideas appear favored by emotions, which become more relaxed.
  • Another aspect that we must take into account is that people are used to moving in the same places and within rather small spaces. Something as simple as going for a walk in the countryside brings us new smells, sensations, and visual stimuli. Surrounded by pleasant stimuli, a more relaxed mind can generate new and better ideas.

So if at any time you feel trapped or pressured in the face of a problem, you know the answer: go for a walk.

Walking is the heart’s favorite exercise

Enfermedades cardíacas: todo lo que debes saber

There’s one thing to keep in mind here. It’s not about running or walking too fast. If we demand something from the body that we’re not used to from one day to the next, it can cause us problems.

  • It’s enough to follow a normal gait when walking but without running. This way, we don’t get overtired, and we force the heart to “get going,” thus improving circulation and oxygenating the body’s tissues.
  • By improving blood pressure, we also regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Walking also allows us to maintain a stable body weight and fight obesity.
  • We also improve the health of our immune systems, and we release many of those toxins that tend to make us sick or bring us the classic fluid retention.

Walking to take care of your bones

One of the biggest risks to bone health is a sedentary lifestyle. Spending between 8 and 12 hours sitting due to work brings us serious consequences that accumulate, such as the following:

  • Joint stiffness
  • A lack of muscular elasticity
  • The accumulation of fat, which places an overload on the bones
  • Cartilage loses strength and elasticity

However, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It’s clear that if you have a back or knee injury, you can’t subject yourself to long walks. In many cases, something as simple as walking for 10 minutes on a treadmill where the surface is flat and safe can be very therapeutic.
Caminadora de gimnasio.

  • Also, if you have a bone problem, you must pay attention to the particularities to cause an injury. Therefore, far from giving up the healthy walking exercise, you can consult with a specialist about the best way to carry out this exercise. To do this, contact a sports expert or personal trainer!

No matter what, it’s important to remember that walking every day for 20 minutes protects against the loss of bone mass and decalcification. As several studies indicate, every time we walk outdoors, we receive a good dose of vitamin D, which is necessary to improve muscle coordination and reduce the risk of fractures.

In addition to this, the therapeutic exercise of walking allows us to reactive our blood circulation so nutrients effectively reach all parts of the body.

What about you? Have you already gone for a walk today? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s worth it!

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  • Kelly P, Murphy M, Mutrie N. The health benefits of walking. In: Transport and Sustainability. 2017.
  • Morris JN, Hardman AE. Walking to health. Sports Medicine. 1997.
  • Prevención SY, El EN. Actividad Física Para La Salud Y Reducción Del Sedentarismo. Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. 2015.