Photography, Arek Adeoye, Unsplash.com
Walking may actually be the best thing you can do for your health.
We often hear about how beneficial physical activity is for our health. But did you know that one of the simplest ways to stay healthy is actually just going for a walk?
According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the simple act of walking is considered the “closest thing we have to a miracle drug,” as it is actually associated with many surprising health benefits. Of course, in order to properly benefit from your walk, you have to make sure you are putting your steps in!
Here are 5 benefits of walking that you may have not known about:
1. It helps with weight management
Harvard researchers studied obesity-promoting genes in 12 000 people and how much these genes actually affect weight gain. According to the research, the effects of these genes were halved in those participants who went for an hour-long brisk walk on a daily basis.
2. It improves overall health
According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who stuck to a walking routine were found to have an improved blood pressure, a lower resting heart rate, and even lower cholesterol levels.
3. It reduces the risk of developing breast cancer
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society which focused on walking specifically found that the participants who walked seven or more hours a week had a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer than those participants who walked for three hours or less. In fact, the risk was reduced by 14%!
4. It helps with joint pain
Walking has been found to protect the joints by lubricating them and strengthening the surrounding muscles. As such, several studies have proven that walking regularly not only reduces arthritis-related pain, but can even prevent arthritis from forming altogether.
5. It boosts your immune system
A study has found that people who walked for at least 20 minutes a day took 43% less sick days, on average. Furthermore, they found that if they did get sick, it was for a shorter period and with milder symptoms.
So how many steps should you be putting in daily?
In order to truly benefit from walking, doctors suggest that an average adult should aim for 10 000 steps a day in order to maintain their overall health, while older adults would benefit from 7 000-8 000. So grab your walking shoes and head outside!