You may not realise it, but May is National Walking Month and to encourage you to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, we have listed the 5 benefits of walking every day. Your daily walks are more beneficial for you than you think!
1. Keeps you Fit
Many people don’t see walking as exercise compared to physical activities such as swimming, aerobics or going to the gym. However, walking is an excellent way to reach the recommended level of physical activity we need to stay healthy (1). Doing a brisk walk regularly that raises your heart rate and leaves you slightly breathless will help you increase your fitness levels (2).
2. Clears your Mind
As with other types of exercise, walking is good for your mental wellbeing as it can improve anxiety, stress, self-esteem, mood and sleep quality (3). According to scientists, exercise can help relieve anxiety by increasing serotonin, a chemical which is responsible for maintaining mood balance (4).
In older people, walking regularly can also improve cognitive function and memory (3). Surely the best excuse to get outside and get walking!
3. Improves your Physical Health
When you’re tired, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee or tea, go for a walk! This activity is more effective as it increases oxygen flow through the body (6).
You may feel more tired in the first week or two after walking regularly, but if you are consistent you will find your energy levels overall will increase (2).
- Begin slowly, and gradually increase how much walking you do.
- Set yourself daily measurable goals i.e how many steps or miles.
- Think about you could include walking into your daily routine e.g walking to work or the shops, walking during your lunch break.
- Download a fitness app that can track your daily steps/distance.