The Importance of Walking 5km or at least 30 Minutes a Day
Walking, a form of exercise which is grossly underrated, is incredibly beneficial for our overall health and long-term quality of life. Below are 10 key points to take note of:
- Walking burns calories and therefore helps with weight management, maintenance and/or fat loss.
- Walking for at least 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk for coronary heart disease. This risk is further reduced when you increase the duration or distance of your daily walk.
- Taking a short walk after eating may also lower blood sugar levels. A short, post-meal (especially dinner) walk also helps with fighting cravings for dessert or night-time snacking.
- Walking helps to protect your joints, by lubricating and strengthening the supporting musculature. To build up more strength, walk uphill or take the stairs. Walking also has a pain-relieving effect, especially for those individuals living with arthritis.
- Walking daily boost your immune system! If you live in a colder climate, you can exercise on a stepper, elliptical, treadmill or even on a stationary bicycle.
- Did you know that going for a walk when you’re tired may be more energy-boosting than grabbing a cup of coffee? This is because walking increases oxygen flow throughout the body. Epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones also rise, which helps energy levels.
- Walking is a great tool for managing mental health, stress, anxiety and depression. Regular walking may also boost self-esteem and creativity.
- It’s easy to get started. Invest in a good quality pair of trainers, find a route that works for you, and if you lack confidence and/or accountability in the beginning, ask a friend to join you. Walking can also be a great way to bond with your family.
- Other ways to increase your daily steps are to get off your bus one stop early and walk the rest of the way to work, park further away from your office or supermarket and walk to and from your car, and if possible, consider walking instead of driving when you run errands.
- Don’t forget that weekends are the best time to get outdoors and be active – push yourself to improve a little bit every single day.