Daily Walks Offer Numerous Health Benefits

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Maraba Roznik, Editor and Reporter

Are you looking to stay in shape this summer without having to spend so much money for a treadmill or a gym membership? There’s a simple solution that will keep you fit while saving you a few dollars. Going for a daily walk.

The public health recommendations for physical activity is 5 times per week for about 30 minutes. However, according to Albion College’s fitness website, only 21% to 34% of U.S adults actually meet those recommendations by walking.

A study done by the American College of Sports Medicine, posted in the New York Times, tracked the number of steps adults in the U.S took using a pedometer. The results showed that on average, Americans took 5,117 steps per day. When compared to other countries such as Switzerland, which averages out to 9,650 steps per day, or Japan, 7,168 steps per day, America is far behind.

Since the U.S is falling short in regards to daily walking, we are losing out on the many benefits that walking rewards us with.

Numerous studies have been done to prove the health benefits of taking a daily walk. Studies done by Dr. Joseph Mercola shows that walking everyday for just 30 minutes can reduce the risk of obesity while maintaining your body weight.

Mercola estimates that walking for 20-25 minutes per day can easily add 7 years to your life because of all the health benefits it offers. Not only does walking reduce obesity risk, it also decreases the chances of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Daily walks have also been proven to increase your mental and emotional wellness. According to everybodywalk.org, simple exercises such as walking increases levels of norepinephrine, which is a chemical that can moderate your brain’s response to stress.

In addition to norepinephrine, walking also releases endorphins, which are known to create feelings of happiness and euphoria. These emotions can lead to you having a more positive outlook on life, stressful situations, and more importantly, on yourself. In other words, walking can help boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Combining the benefits of being able to manage stress and anxiety more, feeling happier, and having a better self-image, you will be all set as far as mental and emotional wellness goes.

There are many ways to get in more daily walks, even if you are only able to get out for a few minutes. You can walk your dog, walk and talk with a friend or family member, take the stairs instead of the escalators or the elevator, or you can park further from the door.

These little things can make a great difference when it comes to your physical, mental, and emotional health. So the next time you’re looking for an easy and quick workout, consider just going for a walk.