By ena ganguly
Walking is probably one of the most beneficial types of movement for our bodies. So why not engage in it more often? The best way to get it in to our routines is to schedule it in. Designate a certain time and day of the week specifically for walking. Even 30 minutes of walking does our bodies a whole lot of good. Don’t believe me? Keep reading to find out how!
Walking has a chalk full of benefits, but one of the primary benefits of walking is the ability to receive better circulation as a result. Increase in circulation gives our bodies better sleep, boosts our immune system and strengthens (some say ‘massages’) our organs to expel any waste. The impact of better circulation through walking can appear on our blood pressure levels as well. Fitness19 states, “In time, walking can also strengthen your heart and improve overall cardiovascular health.”
If you’re a beginner and not sure where to start, consider putting in some headphones and taking a gentle stroll around your neighborhood or park. If you want, you can even forgo the music and listen to the sounds of nature: the trees, the birds, and the wind, so walking can provide you with a sense of grounding. As a beginner, anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of walking time can do wonders for your body and mental health.
Boosts Your Mood
As with many other cardiovascular activities, walking has the ability to release endorphins that allow us to feel better mentally. Verywellfit cites that those who walk at a brisker pace and experience a higher heart rate can experience these mood boosting hormones at a higher rate than those who walk slower. However, walking at any pace can allow us to feel better mentally, as those hormones are released into our system.
So, next time you are feeling heavy, sad, or anxious, try going outside, even for a slow ten minute walk, to see if your body reacts positively to it. Consider getting a walking buddy when you feel sluggish and unmotivated, for whatever reason, to support your commitment to walking at a certain time or day of the week (because remember, you put walking into your routine?). This may be an even better option right now as we are looking to ways of connecting with others while staying safe. Perhaps a physically distanced walk between friends and family outdoors would do both our minds and bodies some good!
We know that often a lack of body movement lends itself to poor sleep, and we also know, and have experienced, the opposite: exercising and experiencing good, deep sleep. For those of us who may have recently been suffering from insufficient or poor sleep, consider giving walking a try.
When we walk, especially in Texas, we are often exposed to sunlight, and nature, both allowing us to feel better mentally and giving our bodies the grounding and vitamins that they need. Another reason why we sleep better after walking is because of the stress that is released from our bodies when going for a walk. Though it is always not immediately noticeable, after a sustained practice of a few days, our bodies can sense this support and are more likely to sleep better.
Walking is a great way to move our bodies. It is a more accessible type of movement for those who are bigger bodied or experience joint and muscle pain. It is a gentle, potentially therapeutic, form of exercise that lends itself to wonderful benefits for our overall health.
Have you been walking lately? Share with us how it has benefited you on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @allgoqpoc!