When we were babies, we took our first steps and struggled to walk. In the struggle of walking, we fell down multiple times, but we did not give up, and one fine day, we walked, and eventually, we mastered this skill. We walked, we ran, we jumped when we were children. We were physically active, and we always had the energy to play another game no matter what time of the day it is. As we grew up, we started leading sedentary lifestyles due to modern-day comforts and changes in lifestyle.
Now, we have maids or gadgets for daily household work. Daily tasks are automated with the help of technology. Our office work involves mental work and very less of physical work. We don’t need to walk anywhere. We can do everything from the comfort of our home, and if at all we need to go out, we have vehicles. All these changes made physical activity an option in life and not a necessity. So, in these times, unless a person consciously makes the decision to stay physically active, it cannot happen.
One excellent and easy way to stay physically active is walking. This does not need any machines or special places. We can walk anywhere – even in our balcony or terrace or in the hall. We just need to have the will to walk. We learned to walk when we were a baby. So this does not need any special training. Science research has validated that walking is beneficial for physical, emotional, and mental health. So, what are the benefits of walking? Here they are.
21 surprising benefits of walking:
1. Research states that if a person can walk at least 4 hours per week, heart health improves, and the chances of getting heart disease reduces.
2. One negative side-effect of leading a sedentary lifestyle is obesity. Obesity impacts health and self-image negatively. Walking promotes weight loss and helps in maintaining healthy body weight. It promotes body fitness and helps in preventing obesity.
3. Walking helps in regulating blood pressure.
4. It improves body posture. A good body posture improves the efficiency of the body and prevents fatigue.
5. In recent times, we see people below 40 years of age getting lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc. It takes a great amount of work to manage lifestyle diseases. It’s easier to prevent these diseases than manage them. Walking regularly reduces the risk of getting lifestyle diseases.
6. Our bodies have self-healing capability. Walking boosts this self-healing capability.
7. Walking promotes bone health and slows down bone loss in the body.
8. It improves the quality of sleep. A good quality sleep is highly beneficial for the body, mind, and soul.
9. Stress is common in modern times, and walking is an excellent stress relief technique.
10. It builds body stamina and improves muscle strength and endurance.
11. We all go through up’s and down’s in our moods. Walking is a great mood enhancer.
12. Strong immunity plays an important role in protecting ourselves from seasonal flus and infections. Walking boosts our immune system.
13. Walking helps in reducing bad cholesterol in our body.
14. It feels wonderful to have high energy levels in a day. Walking increases energy levels.
15. Research found that walking increases the creativity in a person.
16. It helps in reducing depression.
17. It is a great antidote to anxiety and worry.
18. With better lung capacity, we can breathe in more oxygen and prana into our system, which helps in better health. Walking increases lung capacity.
19. It improves memory.
20. It improves digestion health.
21. Walking improves lifespan.
These are some benefits of incorporating walking into our daily life. Walking is simple and easy.
Below are some pointers to gain more out of walking.
1. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes while walking. Wearing shoes makes a great difference to your walking pace and comfort.
2. Start small like 15 minutes per day and gradually increase the amount of walking time to 60 minutes. Doing 60 minutes of walk on day one might strain the body too much and demotivates a person to continue walking.
3. Start walking at a pace comfortable to you. Gradually, increase the pace.
4. If you have a garden or a park nearby, utilize that space and walk in nature. Walking in nature magnifies the benefits of walking.
5. You can smile while you are walking. Smiling has many benefits for physical, emotional, and mental health.
6. Make your walking an enjoyable process. When you enjoy it, you tend to be more regular.
Below are some ways to make your walking time more enjoyable
1. You can practice awareness while you are walking. Awareness brings you several benefits like inner calmness, relaxation, stress relief, etc. How to practice awareness while walking? It’s simple. Just be aware of every step you are taking. When the awareness drifts here and there, you can gently bring it back again to walking.
2. You can practice deep breathing while walking. With one step, you can inhale, and with the other step, you can exhale.
3. You can chant any of your favorite mantra while walking.
4. You can listen to motivating and uplifting music or any of your favorite mantras.
5. You can repeat positive affirmations like – I am healthy, I forgive myself, I am kind, I am happy, etc.
6. You can do positive self-talk like – I love myself. I am wonderful – etc.
7. You can listen to motivational lectures or an audiobook.
8. Practice gratitude and count the blessings in your life.
Key is to enjoy your walking time. Whenever it becomes monotonous, think of ways to make it interesting, joyful, and fun.
These are some pointers to gain more out of walking. This simple exercise of walking can bring in so many benefits to us. We search everywhere for health and happiness, but our own wonderful legs hold the key to health and happiness. So, start walking right from today.
Walk and stay healthy!