Getting those steps in by walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise for people at various fitness levels. Additionally, the benefits of brisk walking are well-documented. Going on a brisk walk daily can help reduce body fat, lower blood pressure, and improve mental health. Humans have been walking for as long as we’ve been on earth, and whether you’re walking around a city park, taking to the track, or deciding to go by foot to your destination, walking every day can get you to 150 minutes of exercise a week – which is the recommended amount by the American Heart Association. So, what happens to your body when you walk every day? Here’s what you need to know:
Concentration is a skill that many of us need to maintain to do our everyday tasks successfully. Whether you’re a student or actively employed, concentration is necessary for you to do your best work. Walking a mile daily can enhance the connectivity of critical brain circuits responsible for attention and focus (About Us, 2022).
Joint Pain Relief
Over 20% of the American population has some form of arthritis. That’s a significant amount of people that experience the pain, swelling, and overall discomfort of joint pain. And those with severe forms of arthritis are often left debilitated to some degree, unable to fully enjoy an active lifestyle. If you’re currently suffering from any joint pain, talk to your doctor first, and try walking every day to get some relief. Walking helps with the lubrication of the joints and helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the joints – all of which can help you manage joint pain (Lafuente, 2022).
Maybe you’ve recently gained weight or want to get leaner; walking is a great way. Walking increases your activity level and allows you to burn more calories. But remember, overdoing it can increase the risk of injury and soreness, so start small and work your way up to more vigorous walks.
It’s no surprise that exercise helps support your digestive system, and walking a mile every day can certainly improve our body’s digestion capabilities. Moderate movement helps increase blood flow – which helps move things along and reduce constipation and gas. Also, a 2017 study found that exercise impacts the good bacteria in your cut – meaning a better gut microbiome composition.
Have you ever been stuck in a rut for no reason? An unexplained lack of enthusiasm? You might want to try going on a walk. Studies have shown that walking increases mood-boosting endorphins, and just 10 minutes of brisk walking can release endorphins that can last for hours afterward. We recommend walking outside, though, as it has more mood-boosting effects than walking indoors.
Americans are no strangers to the effects of stress, and according to this Gallup poll, 8 out of 10 American adults say they are dealing with stress in their lives. You're not alone if you feel like you’re drowning in things to do. According to clinical psychologists, significant research shows that the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are dramatically reduced when walking at a brisk pace.
Better Mental Health
However minimal walking a mile a day may seem, it can have tremendous effects on our mental well-being. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, getting outside under the sunlight and moving your body can significantly influence your mood and emotional well-being. Plus, taking a walk and giving yourself a break from intrusive thoughts can create a positive ripple effect as you go about your day.
About Us. (2022). SleepStandards.com. Retrieved from https://sleepstandards.com/about/
Lafuente, C. (2022, April 19). When You Walk A Mile Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body. TheList.com. Retrieved from https://www.thelist.com/222146/when-you-walk-a-mile-every-day-this-is-what-happens-to-your-body/
Saad, L. (2017, December 20). Eight in 10 Americans Afflicted by Stress. News.Gallup.com. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/224336/eight-americans-afflicted-stress.aspx