It’s getting colder out, but that doesn’t mean that your outdoor time should suffer. Especially now, when staying home has become so important, getting outside your home (in a safe way) is critical for your mental and physical health. But you don’t have to be running 5 or 10K to get your daily dose of health outdoors. We break down the power of walking (no, not power walking, but if that’s your thing that’s fine too) for you below.
• Walking is actually a weight bearing exercise because you actually carry your own body weight while you walk! Neat, huh? That means it comes along with the benefits of weight bearing workouts, like increased fitness for your heart and lungs and stronger bones.
• Walking can boost your immune function. A study found that of a group of 1,000 men and women, those who walked for 20 minutes a day, five days a week had 43 per cent fewer sick days.
• It can curb your sweet tooth, according to the University of Exeter. Their studies found that walking for 15 minutes reduced the amount of chocolate you might stress-eat.
• Walking in nature has profound mental health benefits, so much so that some doctors even prescribe time in nature! Studies show time in nature leads to less risk of depression.
• Walking can lower stress levels. Just like any exercise, walking boosts endorphins and, in turn, lowers stress levels.
• Ever feel completely drained and mentally exhausted and found that staring out a window, taking a walk through the park or actually going on a nature retreat solved all your problems? A walk in nature can help improve your mental energy.
You might be wondering how often you should be walking, where and how. Don’t sweat it! Aim for 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 or more days a week. But if you don’t hit that goal, that’s totally fine. If it’s just a walk around the block, then that’s a great start. Go easy on yourself. Read more about the benefits of connecting to nature.
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