The Health Benefits of Walking
With the weather warm and the daylight shining later into the evening, it is a perfect time of year to enjoy a long walk in the city, your neighborhood or local park. Personally, I enjoy going on a long walk after dinner to unwind and take in the sights and sounds of my environment. It often provides me a time to relax and get ready for the next day. In addition to simply providing a time to relax, long walks also have a variety of health benefits.
To start, long walks help improve your cardiovascular endurance. Walking more often and going longer distances increases your cardiovascular endurance and fitness in general. Going slightly further on each walk can help you ease and adjust your body taking on an additional workload. As your distance improves, your endurance will follow. Also, walking helps burn additional calories. Taking a walk provides your body an additional opportunity to burn calories and improve your overall health.
Furthermore, walking can help reduce risk of heart disease and aid in the improvement of issues such as high blood pressure, pain, stiffness and high cholesterol. Moreover, walking can improve your immune system, raise your energy levels and combat stress. Additionally, long walks are less stressful on your body compared to running or lifting weights. Simply, walking will not place as much wear and tear on your body. Thus, you can go on more walks and not feel as fatigued as quickly.
Given the health benefits of walking, it is important to find opportunities throughout your day to walk. For instance, some might not have the time at night to go on a long walk or their job requires them to be seated throughout the day. Although life may have its restrictions to preclude you from having a blocked-out time to walk, there are many different opportunities you can take advantage of to mix walking into your daily life. For example, if you have the ability to walk to work, try walking instead of driving. If your job is too far away to walk, try parking your vehicle farther away from your place of employment to make the walk from the parking lot to your desk longer. Additionally, you can walk to lunch instead of getting in your vehicle. Another way you can mix walking into your daily life is to take the stairs at every opportunity you can. Instead of taking the elevator up three or four floors, try taking the stairs. Lastly, if you have a jam-packed evening, you can wake up slightly earlier and go on a morning walk. This will start your day in the right direction and you will have your exercise in for the day before even heading to work.
Obviously, there are many more ways and opportunities to incorporate walking into your life. It is a great way to enjoy your community, while simultaneously getting needed exercise. The next time you want to be active and enjoy a summer night, give a long walk a try!