You’ve probably been told that walking is really healthy, and maybe you’ve even started to do some walking yourself. But we get some many different facts and studies telling us this, and that it is healthy—maybe you’re wondering if walking is really making you more healthy?
The answer might surprise you — a recent Harvard Study and insight from the CDC paint different pictures of walking and your health.
Why More People are Walking Today
The CDC now says that over 145 million adults walk as part of their health routine. It is more than just a way to get from here or there. They do it because it’s enjoyable and it helps them relax and unwind. It also gets them out of the house and away from screens.
But since the early 1970s, most doctors and health professionals could point to a prevalent theory that the more exercise you did, the more benefit you received. This was in line with a dominating “no pain, no gain” mentality. The underlying idea being if you didn’t work hard for it, it wasn’t worth doing.
That mentality is partially true—the harder you work, the stronger you get. But it does not account for certain realities. One being injury. Intense exercise can result in injury, and it does put stress on your heart. If you are not already in shape, running or intense aerobic exercise might cause other health issues.
Walking and its Many Health Benefits
But there is also much evidence to show that exercise is a great benefit to your overall health—when done properly. It can reduce stress, which can improve your sleep, which can, therefore, improve your healing and overall mood. It can also be good for your heart, improve your outlook, reduce depression, and even fight certain disease like artery disease, diabetes even colon cancer. Other studies even show it reduces erectile dysfunction.
So, with all that evidence, walking seems to make sense. It’s easy to do, does not involve driving to the gym, and it takes less time than other forms of exercise. In today’s world, where everyone is stressed for time, it’s the exercise that fits. Makes sense, even jogging can be more time-intensive. By the time your drive somewhere to jog far enough to make a difference, change your clothes and shower, you could have completed several laps around the neighborhood or your block.
Walking is also easier to do with a friend or family member, so it’s not so isolating, and you can think about things and clear your head while you walk, so time is not wasted. It will also make you feel less rushed and relaxed so you can get on with other things.
Walk Safer, for Your Health
Walking is safe but to reduce injury consider using a walking stick or a staff. Most people don’t think of themselves as someone who needs one, and it is not something they would prefer to use, but it gives you balance and allows you to walk on more difficult terrain. It is also good to have along to ward off dogs or stray animals.
If you do walk, play it safe. Walk in moderation and for the fun and enjoyment of it. In the end, it is all about your health and safety.
To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.