Inactivity is a silent killer. Using your leisure time to just sit around watching TV, surfing the Internet and playing video games can get you on the fast track to weight gain, obesity, and chronic disease. I recommend walking as a way to make moving your body a lifelong habit; it is easy, cheap and fun! Here are ten great reasons to take a walk:
1. Improve Your Mood
Physical activity stimulates brain activity and causes your body to produce happy brain chemicals called endorphins. Just walking 20 minutes per day can help relieve stress, anxiety, and even mild depression. You will feel more peaceful and happy, and have improved self-esteem.
2. Boost Your Energy
Walking can also improve your energy levels. Physical activity enables your lungs and cardiovascular system to work more efficiently and deliver oxygen to all your tissues. Over time, your heart will get stronger and you will have more energy to do everything else in life.
3. Look Better
Regular walking will improve your muscle strength, and make your arms, legs look more toned. Walking will improve your posture and help give you a trim waistline and a more attractive rear view.
4. Improve Your Sex Life
Walking will make you feel sexier, too! Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced sexual desire and satisfaction in women. Men who walk regularly will benefit from better circulation, and have fewer problems with erectile dysfunction.
5. Fight Off Disease
People who walk regularly get fewer colds, because exercise strengthens your immune system. Walking daily lowers blood pressure, lessens joint pressure, and significantly decreases your risk of diabetes and stroke as you get older. Women who walk regularly after being diagnosed with breast cancer have a 60% higher survival rate.
6. Stay Younger Longer
Just thirty minutes of daily physical activity has been proven to extend longevity. Walking on a daily basis helps prevent or delay the onset of age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis, memory decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Get Smarter
Walking is the number one way to keep your brain healthy. Walking stimulates the blood flow, and provides oxygen to the brain, helping you to think more clearly. It can improve recollection, reverse brain deterioration and improve overall brain function.
8. Create Quality Time
Developing the habit of walking creates blocks of quality time. You can listen to music or audiobooks and enjoy the outdoors alone, or connect with your kids, parents or a partner. Talking about your day or your shared goals and plans while you walk will strengthen your relationships immeasurably.
9. Make Friends
Exploring your neighborhood, is a great way to get to know your neighbors and make new friends. You will feel more at ease where you live, and overcome feelings of loneliness or isolation. Walking is also a great way to ease into a new friendship or relationship in a low pressure setting.
10. Sleep Better
If you struggle to fall asleep, staying up late watching TV only to wake up foggy in the morning, regular exercise can help. Walking every day can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep helping you to feel more rested and rejuvenated the next morning.
Start by walking just 5 minutes per day to avoid stiff sore muscles or exertion. Walk as slowly as you need to, and gradually improve the length of your walks and pace each week. Set goals, track your progress and reward yourself. The more you walk, the better you will feel.