Walking: the original and ultimate form of physical activity. Walking is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body, and it’s also one of the easiest activities to start doing as no experience or special equipment is required, while for people with mobility issues, small amounts of walking can help you build strength and improve your balance. The benefits of walking are almost endless, but here is our attempt to summarise some of the things you may stand to gain if you decide to put one foot in front of the other, and take up walking.
Improve energy levels and feel happier
If you’re feeling drained or washed out, walking can help boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Taking a walk helps you clear your head and gather your thoughts, so taking even 10 minutes of your day to go for a walk can help get you through busy, stressful days.
Steadily build your fitness
You can walk as little or as far as you like, so walking is an ideal way to start building more movement into your life if you’re not used to being active. A short walk around the block is an ideal place to start, and over time you’ll feel the benefits of improved stamina and strength, and you’ll be able to walk further and further.
Manage conditions, reduce risk, lose weight
Walking can help you manage existing conditions, including hypertension, high cholesterol, joint and muscle pain and diabetes. It’s also a great activity to do to help prevent health conditions and illnesses, including heart disease and stroke, as it does wonders for the heart and lungs.
There is evidence to indicate that walking just a little every day can help improve sleep patterns and ensure you feel better for a full and peaceful nights’ sleep. So if you have trouble getting off to sleep, or you find that you lie awake at night, try and make time for a walk each day, and you will soon see the difference.
Quality time with friends or family
If you’re looking for an activity to do together, walking is ideal as it gives you the chance to chat as you do your exercise. The gentle nature of walking means you should still be able to hold a conversation, and together you might just discover a new park or a pretty corner of the county that you didn’t know about before.