Updated September 25, 2020It’s no secret that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. One study showed frequent activity contributed to the prevention of many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Working out every day, even lightly, is a good idea for everyone. However, working out every day may not be an option—especially with many gyms currently closed due to COVD-19.Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to reap the benefits of daily exercise: work a walk into your daily routine.The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 2.5 hours a week of moderate activity (such as walking) or 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous exercise for most healthy adults. With that, we recommend aiming for at least 30 minutes of activity during the day to stay healthy. And, if you can’t find a whole half hour to designate to walking, try breaking your walk up into increments throughout the day.In our post, we walk through the top reasons to take a daily walk and discuss the best ways to take advantage of your new routine’s health perks.Why Should I Take a Daily Walk?Everybody should try to go outside and get some fresh air at least once a day, even if it’s just for a small time. And what better way to pass the time outside than to take a stroll? Even short, regular walks are extremely beneficial to mental and physical health. In this section, we list the primary ways walks can help you feel better.Lighten Your MoodWalking—especially brisk walking—boosts the production of endorphins, the mood-boosting hormones your body naturally releases to help you feel better. In addition to releasing these endorphins, walking also reduces stress hormones to keep you in a great mood.Lose or Maintain WeightLike any other regular exercise, a daily walk will help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. On average, you can burn 150 calories from only 30 minutes of brisk walking; but ultimately, our pace and technique will affect how many calories you burn.To burn the most calories, aim for a fast-paced walk, with a straight and relaxed posture, while stepping heel-to-toe. It’s crucial when trying to lose weight to make sure that you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, meaning exercise is vital to keeping yourself healthy.Prevent or Manage Chronic DiseasesRegular walking has been shown to reduce the chance of developing some chronic diseases and certain heart problems. A study conducted by Harvard Health even found walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31 percent, and the risk of dying from them by 32 percent.Other chronic diseases, besides cardiovascular events, walking can help to prevent or manage include:StrokeType 2 DiabetesSome CancersDepressionStrengthen Your Bones and MusclesNot only is walking good for your heart, but it has also been shown to increase bone density in the neck and hip areas. Regularly walking strengthens muscles because it is a “repeated cycle gain,” engaging your legs and back.Walk at a reasonably fast pace to strengthen your bones and muscles; the recommended rate is 3 to 4.5 miles per hour. However, if you have not been active recently or you tend to tire out quickly when exercising, we recommend starting at a slower pace and working your way up.Improved Balance and CoordinationWalking is a vital element of balance because it builds leg muscles and overall lower body strength. If you want to focus on your balance and coordination, there are specific exercises you can try. Practice walking purposefully in a straight line to improve your coordination.Better SleepWhen performed in the afternoon, exercise (like walking) can regulate your sleep schedule and help you sleep better at night. However, exercising right before bed is not recommended, as it will energize you and keep you alert while you’re trying to sleep. Instead, we suggest scheduling your workout in the morning or early afternoon, at least four to five hours before bed.Improved Heart HealthWalking regularly lowers heart risk factors like bad cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Due to its ability to lower blood pressure, walking calms you down and reduces stress on your heart. Your heart also becomes stronger through regular physical activity (compared to a sedentary lifestyle) because of the extra oxygen it receives during exercise.Making The Most of Your Walking RoutineAlthough it is essential to walk regularly, there is a “proper” way to walk if you want to receive the most benefit from your new routine. The following tips will teach you to maximize the benefits you can get from walking daily and keep the momentum going.TechniqueIf you walk with poor or improper posture, you may not receive all the possible health benefits, or even worse, you could possibly hurt yourself. Sure, you want to walk at a brisk pace to burn more calories, but you want to maintain that quicker pace safely. Follow the steps below the keep proper posture and good technique when walking:Keep your head up while looking forwardRelax your neck, shoulders, and backSwing your arms freely with a slight bend in your elbowsKeep your back straight, and slightly tense your stomach musclesRoll your foot from heel to toe to walk smoothlyRefine Your RoutineFirst of all, make sure to include a proper stretching routine, warm-up, and cool-down during your daily walk to avoid injury. Afterward, decide the area you choose to walk in carefully and make sure it isn’t full of perils like sidewalk cracks or potholes. It’s also vital to find a regular time of day where you can fit a walk in, to make it a firm part of your new routine.Wear the Right GearConsider your apparel when going on a walk; uncomfortable clothes or shoes can make for an awkward walk. In order to avoid putting additional strain on your feet, wear shoes with proper arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles.Don’t forget to choose simple, comfortable clothes appropriate for the weather, too. And if walking at night, add bright colors or reflective gear.Track Your ProgressTracking your progress can help keep you inspired and on the right path, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while; track time, distance walked, or your pace to stay motivated0. There are a few ways to track your progress, including by an app on your phone or using a journal.FAQsCan walking reduce belly fat?Yes, walking can reduce belly fat. When you walk, you burn calories, decreasing your overall body fat percentage. Like any other exercise, regular walking will assist you in losing weight all over.Do I need to walk 10,000 steps a day?Some recommend walking 10,000 steps per day; however, walking such a far length is not necessary. Walking as little as 4,400 steps has been found to provide some health benefits, and walking 7,500 steps has close to the same benefits as walking 10,000 steps.Ideally, you should aim to walk 10,000 steps per day to receive all the potential benefits of walking. However, walking that many steps may not be possible for many who have hectic schedules, so don’t worry if you can only reach 6,000 or so steps. Although you may not receive all the potential gain you would from 10,000 steps, you’ll still be doing your body a huge favor.Does sense of balance reduce with age?It is true your sense of balance tends to decline as you get older. Reduced muscle strength, lowered joint flexibility, and reduced vision and reaction time can contribute to worsened balance. Daily walks can help counteract this loss of balance and are recommended as long as you can safely take them.Is it true walking has the same benefits as running?Walking at a brisk pace offers many of the same benefits as running. Both running and walking will help you lose weight and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, you have to walk twice as much to receive the same level of benefits as running.Can walking help depression?Being active, in general, is excellent for your mental health, and daily walks work wonders to lower stress and reduce depression. In addition to talking with your doctor, try adding a walk to your daily regimen if you suffer from depression and see if it helps.ConclusionWith a long list of ways they can help you and your body, walks are a fantastic exercise to add to your daily routine. Daily walks can give you a mental boost, restore your body, and even help you live longer. At the same time, you want to make sure you take the right approach to walking if you’re going to receive the benefits. Keep a brisk pace and proper posture, wear the right shoes, and don’t lose sight of your goals. Find the time in your day for a walk, even if it’s short, and you’ll quickly see why we recommend it.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.