Is that 30 minute walk really good for you? Does a regular moderate intensity walk have benefits for your everyday life. The short answer is Yes. Let’s take a look at the benefits of getting that 30 minute walk fit into your busy schedule.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining and losing weight is directly related to the amount of calories you eat compared to the calories you burn. If you eat more calories than you burn, the additional calories add to your weight.
The Mayo Clinic states that when you add 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine, you could burn about 150 more calories per day.
Prevent or Manage Health Conditions
I know that when my activity level drops, my struggle with my blood sugar levels go up. Regular walking helps me to manage my blood glucose. The American diabetes Association states that walking lowers your blood sugar levels and overall risk for diabetes.
Several studies have found that walking can lower your blood pressure and may reduce the risk of stroke.
Walking outside in sunlight gives you a source of Vitamin D which helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, support the health of our immune system, brain and nervous system. Vitamin D also helps to regulate insulin levels and aid in diabetes management.
Walking at a moderate level, 30 or more minutes, has been found to lower by 30 percent the risk of heart disease whey compared to people who do not walk on a regular basis.
Strengthen your bones and muscles
American Bone Health, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about bone health and fracture prevention states “Walking is a good weight-bearing exercise to maintain general health, cardiac health as well as bone health . The benefits gained in muscle strength and balance can reduce the risk of falls, a common cause of fractures.”
Improve your mood
For one thing walking outside gives you a break from sitting in the house and a change of scenery. The sunlight tends to help our mood versus those cloudy dreary days. I can testify to the fact that having to stay inside and walk overtime wears on my emotions. It is great to get outside, maybe I will see someone I know or see some animals to watch. Ultimately these changes of scenery redirect my thoughts from the previous stress of my day.
I have also found that when I take a short walk even around the office that I am better capable of taking on that next project of the day.
The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study that people who suffer from depression who took a daily walk showed improvement in their symptoms just as well as people who were on medication for depression.
Improve your balance and coordination
As we get older our balance gets deficient. An element of good balance is lower-body strength. Walking is a great promoter of lower-body strength. Walking is a safe, low impact activity that will strengthen your legs and ankles.
It’s the minutes that count not the miles in planning your walking plan. If you are in the habit of exercising, start with a plan that matches your current workout routine and increase the level and duration of the walk from that point.
If your exercise routine is not a habit or part of your lifestyle, then start at the beginning. If you normally use a walker or a cane be sure to continue to use your walking aid. As you gain confidence and strength you can increase the minutes of your walking workout.
Enjoy your walk and be amazed at the benefits of getting in that 30 minute walk. Even if you break it down in to smaller walks such as two 15 minute walks or even three 10 minute walks in a day, studies have shown that you will still enjoy the benefits of walking.
I would love to hear how many minutes my readers strive for in your walks, please leave your comment below.
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