10 Reasons to Take a Walk this Summer

Family walking on beachAs we head into summer, the weather is becoming optimal for a daily walk. But if the warm weather alone isn’t enough to lure you outside, here are another 10 reasons to take a walk today and every day!

1. Improve Your Leg Health

Your calf muscles play a crucial role in pumping the blood from your feet and legs up to your heart. As you flex your calf muscles, blood is forced up along the course of the veins, important work your heart can’t do by itself. This lessens the strain on your heart and helps prevent blood from pooling in your lower extremities, which can cause or worsen vascular veins.

2. Enhance Your Overall Health

Regular exercise is the best medicine for your overall health. If all its benefits could be crammed into a pill, the whole world would be clamoring for it. Taking a daily walk will have a positive impact on virtually every one of your body’s systems: heart, lungs, circulation, brain, digestion, muscles and more.

3. Save Money

Other than the price of a good pair of walking shoes, which you probably already have, you can enjoy all the benefits of a daily walk without spending a penny. No gym membership or equipment is needed!

4. Easily Fit Walking into Your Day

While you’ll experience the benefits of walking even if you only do 30 minutes a day, the effects are cumulative, which means, walking for 10 minutes three times a day has the same effect. Get creative: have a walking meeting at work; park further from your destination; take the stairs instead of the elevator. It all adds up!

5. Go Easy on Your Joints

Running and other exercises are also beneficial but can put more of a strain on your bones and joints. Walking is a low-impact activity most people can do without issues. In fact, walking can actually improve your joint health. Movement from walking circulates joint fluid in the cartilage, bringing it much-needed oxygen and nutrients.

6. Get Social

Raise the fun factor by turning walking into a social activity. Whether you walk with your spouse, a friend, your children or your pet, having company will keep you motivated and make the time pass even more quickly.

7. Sleep Better

Multiple studies have found that regular exercise correlates with better sleep. There are likely a number of factors at play. Walking outside in the natural light of morning helps promote a strong circadian rhythm, which promotes healthy sleep. Exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones, such as melatonin, and is also associated with stress reduction and better physical health, both of which lead to better sleep.

8. Boost Your Brain

In addition to better sleep, which improves brain function, studies show that your brain will benefit in other ways from regular physical activity. A University of California study of 6,000 women, ages 65 and older, found that age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more. In addition, a University of Virginia Health System study found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than those who walked less.

9. Lose Weight

Walking can help you lose or maintain your weight. A brisk 30-minute walk burns 200 calories. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk and incidence of a wide range of health conditions.

10. Lighten Your Mood

Walking is also good for your mental health as it releases endorphins into the body. These natural pain killers help boost your mood, decrease stress and reduce anxiety and depression.

We Can Help

We hope these 10 reasons to take a walk have inspired you. If leg pain, heaviness or discomfort are holding you back from walking and other activities you enjoy, schedule a consultation with us today. Make walking a regular part of your daily routine, and start counting the benefits!