Regardless of your fitness level, walking is one of the easiest thing you can do anywhere, anytime for better health. While it’s not exactly the best method of cardio exercise for improving your fitness level, walking has a myriad of wellness benefits to help you have an overall healthier year (and life!)
- Balancing hormones
- Reducing stress
- Improving blood flow
- Reducing and relieving tight muscles
- Mental clarity and focus
- Giving your eyes a break from looking at screens
- Getting in 10,000 steps per day
- Reduced weight and heart disease
- Reduced inflammation
- Decreased insulin response post-meal
- Increased energy
These walks don’t need to be strenuous, and in fact, shouldn’t be. Let them be casual! Intense exercise can increase cortisol in your body, which is a hormone that can increase weight. Your body needs breaks and time to rest from other workouts. But rest doesn’t mean you need to just sit on the couch. That’s why walking is great – you can get some movement and activity on rest days (aka: active rest) without taxing your body. One note is that if you are not currently doing other workouts, these types of walks are not enough to help you lose significant weight or drastically increase your fitness level.
Incorporate walks into your every day activity. 15 minutes at work, an hour on the weekend. Even a 10-15 minute walk immediately after meals will help to decrease the insulin response from food to help prevent fat storage. It’s also great for digestion. A quick walk during the day can also help to boost energy. Next time you want to reach for that afternoon cup of coffee or green tea, go for a walk instead and then see if you still need that caffeine (which will reduce your sleep quality!)
I’m not sure there’s anything easier I could tell you to do that walking to keep joints feeling good, inflammation down, and keep blood flowing when you need a rest from the gym. Share comments below about your favorite place to take walks and what benefits you notice!