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How much do you walk on a daily basis?

I am always saying that we need to be more active to feel our best. Most of the time people think of activity as lifting weights, running, or an intense aerobics class. But did you know that walking can have a major impact on your health?

Here are just a few reasons to incorporate walking into your self care routine.

Improves your Energy and your mood

Exercise  releases feel good compounds in the body, including endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine; all of which can help to boost your mood and energy levels. Plus doing something for yourself, like taking 20 or 30 minutes of alone time to listen to some music, a good audiobook, or just the sounds of nature while you walk, are all beneficial to mental health.

Improves and aids Digestion

Tummy trouble? Walking stimulates peristalsis (the movement of food through the digestive tract) and helps to make digestion easier and more comfortable, keeping you from feeling so sluggish and preventing constipation and bloating.

Improves Cognitive Performance

Studies have shown that walking can improve a variety of cognitive performances (put simply your ability to carry out mental tasks). One study published in the Frontiers in Public Health journal stated “We can conclude that at least 10 min of walking has significant effect on mathematical problem-solving abilities in higher performing high school, but more so in lower performing students.”  How about taking a 10 minute walk during your lunch break?

Better Mobility and Reduced Pain

Numerous studies have concluded that walking can help improve mobility and reduce a variety of pains. This seems to apply to those with numerous conditions ranging from Peripheral Artery Disease to Parkinson’s. Even if you don’t have a specific health condition walking is beneficial.

Decreases your risk of developing Diabetes

Walking helps your muscles to use more glucose, thereby lowering blood glucose levels. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight can help your body use insulin more efficiently, thereby decreasing your risk of diabetes.

Walking is easier on the body than more intense exercise for people who struggle with painful conditions like arthritis, have difficulty moving in complex ways, or otherwise may not be able to handle more intense forms of cardiovascular exercise.

You don’t have to spend hours at the gym each day if you don’t want to!   Walking just 30 minutes a day can vastly improve your overall health.   Don’t have 30 minutes free in the day?  Could you manage 10 minutes in the morning, at lunch and after your evening meal? 

If you have a smartwatch or pedometer a good goal to aim for is 10,000 steps a day but if you are doing much less athan this try to add a few hundred steps a day and aim to build up to that over time.

About Anna

Anna from Relax Therapies

Anna is a Sports Massage Therapist based in Birkenhead. She uses massage, movement and acupuncture to relieve pain and restore healthy mobility.

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¹The Effect of Movement on Cognitive Performance