If you are looking to improve your overall health -- including both physical and mental health -- it is time to start walking more!
Walking might not seem like a big deal, and probably not much of a "workout," but CNN's health experts point to numerous studies which have shown that simply walking more can provide you with "a wealth of wide-ranging benefits"
Mind-body coach and strength and conditioning specialist Dana Santas says, "Walking is the most underrated, corrective, mind-body, fat-burning exercise available to humans... I walk every single day."
Some of the important ways walking can benefit your health, according to CNN's experts, include:
- Can help with weight loss
- Can lower blood pressure and cholesterol
- Reduces risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- May lessen the risk for dementia and Alzheimer's disease, and also improve memory and cognitive capabilities
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety levels, especially when you walk in nature
- Improves and strengthens bones, joints, and muscles -- particularly in your abdomen and legs
- Boosts energy levels
- Reduces instances of insomnia
- Can strengthen relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers
Another benefit of more people walking in the areas they live, crime rates have been shown to drop when residents take neighborhood walks regularly, according to a Harvard study.
The experts also note walking is easy for many people to do, even if they have not been regularly active, and it's free and does not require a gym membership. If you are looking to make your walks more vigorous, add increased speed intervals, hills, stairs, or consider wearing ankle or arm weights while out on your stroll.
The Doctors remind all the new walkers to not worry about getting to that allusive "10,00 steps per day" milestone. Find out why getting less than 10K steps is also still great for your health.
As always, before beginning any new exercise program, consult your doctor and cease the exercise immediately if you feel pain.