Categories: Wellbeing

Why you need to start walking today

Whether we do it or not, it’s unanimously accepted that walking is overall one of the best forms of exercise if you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s free, easy and can be done anywhere in the world. You don’t need any special equipment and it’s certainly not as exhausting as running. 

Whilst we all know this, walking can sometimes be taken for granted due to its very simple nature of movements. The only way to challenge this type of thought is by reminding ourselves of the more intricate and unnoticed benefits of walking.

So, why do you need to start walking today and why is everyone talking about walking? To help us answer these questions, let’s dive right in and explore some of the most forgotten benefits of walking. 

Walking is better than running

According to an article by NBC News, Dr. Matt Tanneberg who is a sports chiropractor said, “Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running.”

Walking is better than running for other reasons too. With walking, you naturally feel more relaxed whilst immersed in the activity. This obviously has a therapeutic impact on your mental well-being and can make things interesting and eventful as you absorb the surrounding landscapes and talk to fellow human beings.

Walking is also better than running in terms of its universality. Whilst everyone who runs can walk, not everyone who walks can run. For instance, people with knee, ankle and back problems would probably never be able to take up running, yet walking is always a possibility for them. 

Walking may be a lower intense workout than running, yet when done over a long period, it can help bring about mental and physical relief. 

Walking is physically beneficial

There is no doubt that walking can benefit your physical body in more than one way. From improving your fitness to alleviating fatigue and depression, walking also helps with circulation, endurance and a reduction of bodily pain. 

Many studies in the past and present have also found that walking can reduce the risks of stroke. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who stuck to a certain program when walking showed massive improvements in things like reduction of body fat and body weight, increased measures of endurance, slowing of resting heart rate, blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and improved depression scores with better quality of life.

Walking improves cognitive abilities

It’s true what Friedrich Nietzsche said when he told us, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

Something that is often neglected when talking about the benefits of walking is the associated cognitive improvements. It starts with walking away from any stress that we have, resulting in more room for deep thought and the ability to develop better thinking skills. After all, stress can seriously narrow our vision of life and the world to only the problems that we see in front of us. 

According to another study, short bouts of walking lasting around 10 minutes can help improve mood in young adults when compared to no activity at all. With blood flowing to your brain better than ever, the time we spend walking allows us to ponder over our lives with a bird’s eye view of everything. This allows us to compartmentalise our thoughts and clear up our vision. What’s more, it allows us to problem solve to a certain degree and brings us back home fresher than we exited. 

Try it next time you go for a walk. Witness how things become clearer and how easy it is to be more creative!

It’s easy to start walking

This is a nice point to end on. We mean it when we say that walking is the easiest form of exercise to start right away. No need to fill up a water bottle to drink from whilst running. No need to wear any special gear or footwear. You don’t have to be worried about sweating or becoming exhausted. Just put on some comfortable footwear, step out your front door and let your legs do the rest. Enjoy a podcast or talk to a friend whilst walking. Take in the landscape and don’t worry about stretching or warming up beforehand. 

It really is that easy, which is why it’s wonderful and quite surprising to see that walking has so many benefits. It’s no wonder why Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara referred to walking as a ‘superpower’ in an article by The Guardian

He also said, “One of the great overlooked superpowers we have is that, when we get up and walk, our senses are sharpened. Rhythms that would previously be quiet suddenly come to life, and the way our brain interacts with our body changes.”

Quick Tip: Wherever you walk and whenever you walk, just remember to keep things consistent by making a walking schedule for yourself. That way, you’ll reap the maximum benefits of walking.

Juber Ahmed

Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.   Juber's favourite Quote... "The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]

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