1. WALKING SPARKS CREATIVITY
Walking generates a 60% boost in creativity after only five to 16 minutes of walking. This also happens with indoor walks on a treadmill, you’re not necessarily dependent on outdoor elements to reap the creative benefits of walking.
2. WALKING REDUCES STRESS
Short sojourns into nature can lower your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Even though it is recommended to walk around 20 to 30 minutes at least three times a week, even 10 minutes can suffice if you’re crunched for time. Also, you’re not necessarily limited to venture into the wilderness. The stress-reducing benefits extend even to “urban nature,” even if that’s at your local park or on the nearest patch of grass.
3. WALKING SUPPORTS MENTAL HEALTH
It’s well-known that increased physical activity can boost your mood thanks to feel-good endorphins. But even further, it can also significantly ease depressive symptoms and promote an overall higher quality of life. As 20 percent of people that live in America will face mental health challenges throughout their lifetimes, walking provides the perfect opportunity to feel better naturally.
4. WALKING COUNTERACTS ACHES FROM SITTING
Stuck at your desk from sunrise to sunset? Both daily and over time, you’ll likely feel tension from hunched shoulders, tight hips, and cramped muscles. The antidote: intermittent short strolls throughout the day. Five-minute walking breaks on the hour can undo the negative impacts of long-term sitting via increased muscle activity and improved blood circulation.
5. WALKING MANAGES WEIGHT
It’s not news that a sedentary lifestyle can easily lead to weight gain. Physical activity as simple as walking can seriously reduce the likelihood of more serious issues associated with weight gain to arise. Walking briskly for 60 minutes daily can reduce the effects of weight-promoting genes by a whopping 50 percent.
6. WALKING CURBS CRAVINGS
If you have a sweet tooth or reach for sugary treats around that time of the month, walking can help curb those cravings. Taking a 15-minute walk can cut chocolate consumption by half and reduce stress-eating. So rather than automatically indulging your cravings, go for a stroll.
7. WALKING IMPROVES SLEEP
Walking can help you get better shut-eye. Walking 2,000 steps (about a mile) daily helps to obtain a better sleep quality. Full, high-quality sleep cycles are key to healthy sleep patterns, so consider walking the perfect pairing to your existing bedtime routine.
Walking may just be the simplest way to boost wellness from all angles. It’s free, natural, and something the majority of us do—and are able to do—for the better part of our lives. To fully reap the benefits of a daily walk, we encourage you to take a new approach to the act. Maybe you’ll opt to walk to work or do errands, take longer routes, or simply move your feet with no clear destination in mind. The joy and rewards of walking will always be there; all you need to do is take one step at a time.