Ah, a nice walk in nature. That sounds like a brilliant way to spend a summer weekend morning, doesn’t it? Well, why does it have to be just a weekend activity? Most of us know we should probably be more active in our lives, but end up finding one excuse or another as to how we can get out of it. However, recent studies have given us some food for thought that might just see us heading out the door sooner than we thought.
Worryingly, not nearly enough of us get our recommended 10,000 step count a day. What’s even scarier is the fact that having a sedentary lifestyle can be just as dangerous as being obese, regardless of your BMI. In fact, over the course of 12 years, scientists have been studying the effects of a 20 minute walk a day with some shocking findings. The people behind the research managed to gather over 300,000 volunteers to help with the figures and concluded that the risk of dying for individuals that would go for their walks was between 16% and 30% lower. It’s not just losing weight that lowers the risk of a premature death either; walking reduces the risk of death from any cause.
Improve your overall health
Going outside for a brief walk every single day will do wonders for your cardiovascular system. Getting your blood pumping will help strengthen the most important muscle in your body, your heart. Not only this but getting active by walking more will help tone up the muscles in your legs, as well as strengthen the density of your bones. All of this means less chance of developing heart disease, as well as a reduced risk of getting osteoporosis.
Help lose weight
By now we all know that being overweight is a significant cause of many diseases and health-related problems. So trying to keep yourself trim and fit is an essential factor to incorporate into daily life. When you go for a walk, even just for 20 minutes, you are helping to boost your metabolism. This, in turn, helps your body to break down any fat that is stored while digesting your food more efficiently. Now, who could argue with a statement like that?
Nowadays we all live such hectic lives that it’s hard to switch off and fully relax. All the added stress contributes to a number of different issues, too. Putting on some trainers, getting outside, and taking a walk is one of the best ways to take your mind out of the office and into a clear headspace. Plus, you get to enjoy all the benefits of nature that you would be missing out on if you stayed inside at your desk. A win-win situation! It’s not only getting that stress out your mind either. If you’re able to get that walk in each day, you’ll actually be helping to repair your brain tissue too which prevents dementia.
Better energy levels
Getting the blood pumping through our bodies means we’re transporting more oxygen to where it needs to be. More oxygen means more energy! If you often find yourself suffering the afternoon slump then heading out for a walk could help you battle the fatigue. Having more energy should also help you to feel in a better mood throughout the day. This can lead on to better relationships with your peers, and an overall happier outlook on life. Is there nothing that this 20 minute walk can’t help?!
Getting in some time to walk each day may seem like a huge task, especially when you already lead a busy life. However, just 20 minutes isn’t too much to ask is it? Whether it’s heading out at lunchtime, parking a block further over, of heading out before shooting off to school, there is plenty of time to consider your health if you are willing to make the time. And besides, it won’t be long before you see all the benefits!