10 reasons you should take a walk today

Looking for a reason to take a stroll today? Look no further, dear reader, this is the post for you.

1. Tone and strengthen

Walking is a low impact exercise perfectly suited to just about anyone. It will help get your joints more mobile, increase your muscle tone and build strong bones. Think chiselled calves, sculpted quads and glutes, plus superbly hewn hamstrings. Healthy joints, muscles and bones will also ward off arthritis, help with back pain and prevent injury.

2. Improve your mental health

To quote Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!”. Never were truer words spoken. Walking will indeed release feel-good endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety. Bonus: step outside where you’ll also get the proven mental health benefits of being in nature.

3. You’ll live longer

Yes, you read that right. Walkers live longer. According to a Hawaiian study of 8,000 men, walking just over three kilometres a day cut the risk of death almost in half.

4. Boost your creativity

Walking gets the creative juices flowing. So if you’re suffering writer’s block, you can’t focus, or you’re searching for inspiration, lace up those walking shoes and get out of the house or office.

5. Lower high blood pressure

Cardiovascular exercise, like walking, can lower your blood pressure. In fact, moderate intensity walking has been found to be just as effective as jogging for this purpose.

6. Safeguard your brain

Physical activity has a positive effect on how our brains work and can actually stave off dementia. It’s been shown that exercise reduces the risk of dementia up to 40%. Regular walks can also press pause on brain shrinkage, helping memory storage.

7. Prevent or manage diabetes

Preventing Type 2 diabetes can be as simple as pairing a healthy diet with just 30 minutes of walking every day. A US study found that 30 minutes of walking a day cut the diabetes risk for both overweight and non-overweight people. If you already have Type 2 diabetes, walking is an excellent way to keep your blood sugar balanced.

8. Reduce inflammation

Walking helps to lubricate the joints, reducing the pain from inflammatory diseases like arthritis. Walking has also been shown to help prevent the onset of arthritis.

9. Counteract metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is the sum of high blood pressure and cholesterol, out of control blood sugar levels and abdominal fat stores. It’s a very Western phenomenon, built on the back of our sedentary lifestyle, and causes heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, among other things. Any type of cardiovascular exercise, including walking, assists with both the prevention and also the reversal of the damage caused by metabolic syndrome.

10. Soak up Vitamin D

Getting time in the sun is the best way to boost your natural levels of Vitamin D. So take a stroll outside, just try to avoid the middle of the day when UV rays are at their most damaging. Healthy Vitamin D levels will help you keep strong bones and support your immune system.

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