Do you walk for pleasure, your health, or both?
My answer used to be pleasure, until I researched the benefits of walking. Let's just say I walk for pleasure and health these days.
According to Harvard, walking can reduce sugar cravings and boost immune function.
A brisk walk will also wake you up as much as a cup of coffee.
Top 10 Benefits of Walking:
1. Improve your mood. Walking releases endorphins that make us feel good.
2. Weight control-not because of the calories you burn but because you tend to make better decisions throughout your day when you start it with moving your body.
3. Enjoy a longer life. Research shows that those who regularly walk are 35-45% more likely to live an extra eight years.
4. Strengthen bones. Walking can actually stop bone loss for people that have osteoporosis.
5. A boost in natural energy. Like I mentioned above, walking 5-15 minutes gives you the same energy boost as a cup of coffee would.
6. Slows mental decline. Those that walk experience less mental decline. Some up to 10 percent less.
7. Reduce sugar cravings. Walking 15 minutes a day curbs cravings for chocolate according to a study done at Harvard.
8. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers know any activity reduces your risk of developing breast cancer. In one study found that those that walked over 7.5 hours a week saw a drop in the risk category by 14 percent.
9. Increases circulation. Which leads to better heart health and over all organ function.
10. Do what you love longer. Walking keeps your body moving and limber. Those are key factors as we age and our bodies start to give out on us. Those that regularly walk are able to push off disability longer than those that don't.
As I write this blog post we are in the middle of a free 30-Day Mental Cleanse Challenge. This week the healthy habit to practice is walking for 15 minutes everyday (preferably in the morning).
Now you can see why I want you to move your body more often, the benefits are phenomenal.
If Walking is This Beneficial, Why Don't We Do It Daily?
Personally I think we psych ourselves out. We say if it can't be super long to burn calories it's not worth the effort, and as you can see from the list above that is not true. A good chunk of the studies were based off of 15 minute walks.
Whether you are part of the challenge or not, please take this information and put it to good use and Move your body! Do it for yourself, your spouse, your children, and your extended family.