90% of our time we spent indoors and 2/3 of that time is spent at home. Going outside is great for getting some fresh air, as the air inside is five times more polluted than the air indoors. But going for a walk has many other physical and mental benefits. We share the top 6 most positive effects of walking.
1. Walking keeps the engine running smooth
The heart is the engine of the body and together with the blood vessels plays an vital role for your general health. Going for a walk of at least 30 minutes every day, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol in your blood. It improves the condition of your heart and blood vessels. Are you active for at least one hour a week? Then the risk of heart problems drops by as much as 50%.
2. Walking is oxygen for more productivity
Walking also has a positive effect on your lungs: the more you walk, the greater the capacity of the lungs and the more oxygen you absorb. In addition, there is a lot more oxygen in the air outside than inside. Take a deep breath in and out and let the oxygen flow through your body. Going for a walk in the afternoon will give your brain an energy boost and you will work more productively the rest of the day.
3. Walking improves your digestion
Swollen stomach after eating, or having constipation will decrease when going for a walk regularly. When exercising your intestines are motivated to gone into action modus which stimulates the digestion of food. In addition, walking has a relaxing effect on the body which is also good for the stomach.
4. Walking is happiness for the brain
Walking has a positive effect on the brain and therefore your mental health. You will notice that after a walk you are more cheerful and you feel happier. This is because during a walk endorphins and serotonins are released and these ‘happy dusts’ give the feeling of happiness. It is a good medicine against anxiety and depression.
5. Walking improves a good night’s sleep
Not a great sleeper because you are feeling restless or can’t stop thinking? You can gain 45 to 60 minutes of more sleep when going for a walk five times per week. Walking compliments your biological clock, making you fall asleep easier and sleep better.
6. Walking is pain management for the lower back
Research done by the Tel Aviv University shows that walking for 20-40 minutes two to three times a week is highly effective in reducing lower back pains. It turns out to be just as effective as using muscle strengthening exercises, because walking also trains your abdominal and back muscles. And those areas are important to combat low back pain.
Start step by step
Find it challenging to implement a walk into your daily routine? The most effective way to start is to start small. Begin with a single block around the corner once a week after lunch. And increase the distance every week until you hit the 30 minutes. After that it is easier to gradually build up the amount of walks per week. Start with walking twice a week and weekly add one more walk. It can be extra motivating to go for a walk together with someone either in person or on the phone.
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