Health Benefits of Walking
Walking is one of the BEST things you can do for your overall health. It’s low impact, safe (with a doctor’s okay), and free! Many diseases, conditions, and ailments can be prevented or even healed by participating in regular physical activity. Fortunately, even moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking can provide these incredible health benefits.
Physical Health Benefits
– Helps maintain a healthy weight
– Lowers risk of heart disease & stroke
– Lowers risk of several types of cancer
– Regulates blood pressure & cholesterol
– Helps prevent and manage type 2 diabetes
– Helps ease arthritis pain & stiffness
– Strengthens muscles & bones
– Lowers risk of falls
Mental Health Benefits
– Reduces stress & anxiety
– Lowers risk of depression
– Improves mood
– Helps you sleep better
– Improves energy levels
– Improves cognition & creativity
– Lowers risk of dementia & Alzheimer’s
– Improves overall quality of life
“Walking is the best medicine.”
How often should you walk?
- The CDC recommends that adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week (about 20-30 minutes per day)
- What is considered moderate-intensity activity? Use the “talk test” – if you can talk, but not sing, you’re at the right pace.
- Pair with two days per week of muscle-strengthening activities.
- Children should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Ways to get active
- Find things you like to do. Whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling, hiking, dancing, etc, all forms of movement count!
- Have an accountability partner – include your family, friends, and pets, or join a local Walk with a Doc group.
- Find ways to incorporate movement in your daily activities:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park further away in the parking lot
- Host walking meetings at work
- Move during TV commercial breaks
Whether it’s for the mental or physical benefits, we hope you’re inspired to take a walk today. Our doctors would love to walk alongside you at a local Walk with a Doc event soon.
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