Incorporating walking into one’s daily routine is a convenient and easily accessible health solution, that is low risk and low cost, for most people.
As you make health resolutions for the New Year, don’t forget to include walking in your list. Not only is it a great way to beat the winter lethargy, walking also has numerous health benefits. From aiding weight loss and lowering blood pressure to reducing the risk for type 2 diabetes and improving cardiac health, scientific studies show that walking can do you a world of good.
However, there are certain health benefits of walking that are not commonly known. Here are three such advantages – backed by science – of incorporating walking into your daily routine:
Studies report a positive impact of moderate intensity of physical activities on sleep quality. The rhythmic and repetitive nature of walking induces a meditative state, promoting relaxation and reducing the impact of stressors, which contribute to better sleep patterns. Research finds that individuals who incorporated regular walking into their routines noted enhancements in both the duration and quality of sleep.
This association between walking and sleep aligns with recent findings from systematic reviews, highlighting the substantial positive effects that sleep and exercise have on each other. Walking can be an effective strategy for sleep management.
Managing addictive behaviours
The physiological and psychological benefits of walking can play a crucial role in helping individuals manage and overcome addictive behaviours. Studies show that physical activity exhibits a dual effect on alcoholism by potentially mitigating the adverse health effects of alcoholism and centrally influencing neurotransmitter systems associated with addiction mechanisms.
Similarly, studies also demonstrate a potential, even if temporary, decrease in cigarette cravings and an enhanced probability of successful cessation through moderate-intensity walking routines. Walking can have a positive influence on diminishing certain cravings and dependence.
Enhancing mental health
An interesting study based on the 2017 California Health and Interview Survey found that walking, as a moderate intensity activity, can significantly enhance mental health and well-being, leading to reduction in stress and anxiety. Particularly in the case of older adults, it was associated with lower depressive symptoms.
Incorporating walking into one’s daily routine can positively impact mood, and enhance mental health. It is a convenient and easily accessible health solution, that is low risk and low cost, for most people.