Take a hike- we say it to tell people to go away- but taking a hike is actually a GREAT IDEA!
Because it means walking!
Walking, most of us do it every day. We walk around the house, we walk to and from work, we walk our dog, we walk to get fresh air- the list is endless on reasons we may walk.
And little do we know- we are giving our body benefits while we walk! Seems like just a regular everyday thing we do- but it actually HELPS us with each step we take!
It’s an underrated form of exercise that we do each day.
In fact- just a 30 minute brisk walk can burn up to 200 calories!
Burning calories isn’t all walking can do for you.
There is so much more!
Here are 5 other ways walking can help your body:
1. Strengthen Your Muscles
You can feel it when you walk, how your legs are working and the faster you walk- the more they work. Walking tones your leg and abdominal muscles – and even arm muscles if you pump them as you walk (you see this a lot in speed walking). If you walk uphill or use a treadmill with a slant upward slant- this can build more strength in your legs as well. Go for a hike up a local mountain, there will so much to explore while also giving your legs a tremendous workout!
2. Can Improve Heart Health
Walking feeds your heart! Exercise for your heart is just as important as walking for weight. Walking can ward off heart issues while bringing up the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and in turn strengthening the heart. It has been shown that women who walk 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20%, and by 40%.
3. Can Improve Circulation
Walking is said to ward off heart issues, bring up the heart rate, lower blood pressure and strengthens the heart. Post-menopausal women who walk just one to two miles a day can lower their blood pressure by nearly 11 points in 24 weeks. According to the researches at the Harvard School of Public Health- women who walk 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20%, and by 40% when they step up the pace.
4. Improves Your Mood
Have you ever gone for a walk to ‘clear your head’? Many of us have. And it works. It is actually working to improve your mood. Walking releases natural pain killing endorphins to the body – one of the emotional benefits of exercise. It can also help us socialize. There are clubs for individuals seeking someone to walk with, a friend or just a small neighborhood group that walks together, Socializing can also boost our mood and it keeps us from feeling isolated.
5. Supports Better Sleep
It’s no secret exercise can help us sleep. Studies found that women, ages 50 to 75, who took one-hour morning walks, were more likely to have better sleep than women who didn’t walk. Plus, exercise tends to wear us out. It can drain us and leave us feeling the need to rest. Exercise can help exert more energy- requiring us to rest more which can help us have a better night’s rest.
You may think walking is boring- but it doesn’t have to. You can play music while you walk, walk with a friend and chat about life, walk your dog and enjoy the scenery or walk with your kids to get them out and about to enjoy the day!
The sky’s the limit with walking. There is so much to see in the world, take a stroll around your neighborhood- you may discover things you didn’t know were there. A hidden natural trail, or a beautiful sunset view down the end of the road!
So- get out there and walk! Take the stairs instead of an elevator, walk to work walk to the coffee shop- walk walk walk!