There are many benefits to daily walking, including lowered risk of dementia, cancer, and heart diseases. But did you know that daily walking can also improve your mood and help you lose weight?
Walking is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and it’s also a low-impact activity that’s easy on your joints. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your health and well-being, start making daily walks part of your routine.
How walking lowers the risk of dementia, cancer and heart diseases
There is strong evidence that physical activity, including walking, can help lower the risk of developing dementia. A 2018 study published in the journal Neurology found that people who walked at least six miles a week were 35 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who only walked one mile a week or less.
Walking has also been found to be beneficial in lowering the risk of developing cancer. A large-scale study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that walking for just 30 minutes a day could lower the risk of breast cancer by as much as 20 percent. Walking has also been shown to lower the risk of developing colon cancer by as much as 30 percent.
Finally, walking has been shown to be an effective way to lower the risk of developing heart disease. A 2010 study published in the journal Circulation found that walking for just 30 minutes a day could lower the risk of heart disease by as much as 31 percent.
How Walking Lowers the Risk of Cancer
Walking is a great way to lower the risk of cancer. Walking has been shown to lower the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and endometrial cancer. Walking also helps to lower the risk of ovarian cancer.
How Walking Lowers the Risk of Heart Diseases
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Walking is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your cardiovascular health. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can help lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent.
How Walking Helps With Other Diseases
Regular walking can also help lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of stroke. Walking is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is easy on your joints and muscles. It is also a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors.
The benefits of daily walking
There are countless benefits to incorporating walking into your daily routine, including reducing your risk of dementia, cancer, and heart disease.
A recent study found that individuals who walk for at least half an hour every day were significantly less likely to develop dementia than those who did not walk regularly. Walking also has numerous other benefits for brain health, including reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.
Walking is also one of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce your risk of cancer. One large-scale study found that walking just 20 minutes per day reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer by 18 percent. Walking has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer and endometrial cancer.
Walking is also great for heart health. One large-scale study found that individuals who walked for at least 30 minutes every day had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who did not walk regularly. Walking has also been found to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
The Best Time to Walk
While any walking is good for you, the best time to walk for health benefits is in the morning. Walking first thing in the morning before eating breakfast helps jumpstart your metabolism and provides other benefits as well.
Walking in the morning also helps you get more vitamin D, which is important for bone health. And getting some sunlight early in the day can help stave off depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), both of which have been linked to an increased risk of dementia.
How Much Walking is Needed
You don’t have to walk for hours every day to reap the health benefits. A study of more than 450,000 adults found that walking just 30 minutes a day was associated with a 17% lower risk of dying during the study period than people who didn’t walk at all.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that adults should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week. And while you may think you need to lace up your sneakers and head out the door for a long walk to reap the benefits, that’s not necessarily the case.
A recent study published in The Lancet found that people who engaged in short episodes of walking throughout the day had a lower risk of early death than those who did not walk at all. Furthermore, the study found that the health benefits of walking were greatest when people walked for at least 30 minutes a day, but they were still significant even if people only walked for 10 minutes a day.
So, how can you incorporate more walking into your day? Here are a few tips:
- Park your car farther away from your destination and walk the extra distance.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
- Get up and move around during commercial breaks when watching TV.
- Walk laps around your office or building during break times.
- Go for a short walk after meals.
FAQs About Walking
- How much should I walk per day? The general recommendation is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking (or the equivalent) on most, if not all, days of the week. You can break this up into 10-minute increments if you like. And there’s no need to go all out—a comfortable pace is just fine.
- How can I tell if I’m walking at a moderate intensity? If you can still carry on a conversation while you’re walking, then you’re likely working at a moderate intensity. If you can’t say more than a few words without pauses for breath, then you may be working too hard and might want to slow down a bit.
- Do I have to walk outdoors? No – you can walk indoors on a treadmill or around your neighborhood – whatever works best for you and fits into your schedule. Just make sure to pay attention to your surroundings if you walk outdoors, especially early in the morning or evening when it’s dark outside.
- What are some other benefits of walking? Walking is a low-impact form of exercise, so it’s easy on your joints and muscles. And it doesn’t require any special equipment or training, so you can pretty much start anytime, anywhere. Plus, it has mental health benefits—walking has been shown to help reduce stress and improve mood.