There are 1440 minutes in a single day. From our busy schedule we can easily plan 30 min for physical activity like walking. Walking is a very low-impact exercise that can elevate you to a higher level of fitness and health without making you tired. The more you walk, the more your body will accustom to activity.
Walking reduces risk of type 2 diabetes: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that brisk walking on a regular basis helps to lengthen the lives of people who have diabetes. Various studies revealed that walking 3 to 4 hours a week can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58% and mortality rate by 54% compared with people who are inactive.
Walking reduces risk of heart diseases associated complications: Key results of the study conducted by CDC shows that minimum 2 hours walk per week can reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 34%.
The study published in New England Journal of Medicine says that women who walked at least three hours per week reduced their risk of heart attack by 30% to 40% and women who walked five or more hours per week reduced their risk by 50%.
Walking is good for brain: Walking increases blood circulation. As a result, increased oxygen and glucose that reach your brain, helps you to think better. Study published in Annals of Behavioral of Medicine revealed that walking improves learning ability, concentration, and abstract reasoning. One more study revealed that senior citizens who walked regularly showed significant improvement in memory skills compared to sedentary elderly people.
Walking make bones healthy: If you have osteoporosis, walking at least a mile per day is suggested to be the best weight-bearing exercise because it minimizes jarring to your bones. American Public Health Association says that walking just 30 minutes per day, a few days a week is enough to moderately increase your overall bone density.
Walking improves mood: Walking releases large quantities of endorphins from the brain and spinal cord. These endorphins act on the nervous system to reduce pain and improve mood. Walking briskly for 30 minutes, five days per week reduces symptoms of depression.
10pt; line-height: 150%; font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";">Walking reduces the risk of breast cancer: Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and Harvard University revealed that walking 1-3 hours per week can reduce the risk of death from breast cancer by 19%, whereas 3-5 hours per week reduces risk by 54%.
Walking reduces weight: Walking alters fat metabolism, as a result fat burns up instead of sugars, thereby helping to reduce weight. Walking 2 miles (3.2km) a day, three times a week, can help reduce weight by one pound (0.45kg) every three weeks.
Walk for longevity: A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that brisk walking for 30 minutes, 5 days a week can cut risk of death, in general by 27%.
Walking improves sleep: Study conducted by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research found that sleep disorder was reduced in women age from 50 to 75, who took 1 hour morning walk, as compared to women who didn’t walk.
Walking decreases dementia: The Honolulu-Asia Aging Study that was conducted on 2,257 men between 71 and 93 years old confirmed that men who walked two miles per day, reduced risk of dementia by half as those who walked less than a quarter mile per day.
The overview of some of the studies gives a flavor of health benefits from walking. Deeper you dig through the scientific studies, more you are confused regarding benefits of walking as some studies will show you there is less or no significant benefit of walking to health. It’s like with everything else, human body is so complicated that data is affected by many factors such as eating habits, smoking habits, etc. But there is no doubt that walking is a mild form of exercise and does not put pressure on your body such as running or weight lifting.
I am firm believer of the words said by 19th century British historian, George Macaulay Trevelyan: “I have two doctors–my left leg and my right leg.”