The Benefits of Walking

Do you want to better your mental and physical health in a cost-effective way? Walking has amazing benefits. With the summer here, it can be a great time to try something new. Heavy lifting and / or sports may not be for everyone, but walking is a great alternative.  

Adding time for walking into your daily routine will allow you to live a healthier lifestyle. Taking care of yourself now will also help you as you grow older. It is recommended that teens get at least 1 hour (60 minutes) of exercise a day. Getting around 10,000 steps a day is the goal and recommended by experts but start where you feel most comfortable. That can be walking a mile or for 30 minutes and then building it up from there.  

The benefits of walking are:  

  • Lowers your risk of heart disease
  • Lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers your risk of high blood pressure
  • Will boost your mood and energy levels  
    • Walking and / or exercising releases endorphins (a hormone your body releases during a pleasurable activity)
  • Helps manage stress  
  • Fights anxiety and depression
  • Increases enthusiasm and optimism
  • Stronger bones

Things to Remember:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Do not walk during the peak of the sun (the sun is the strongest between 10 am – 4pm)
  • Wear sunscreen, hat and / or sunglasses
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes 
  • Only walk in safely lit and populated areas for safety reasons
    • Share your location with someone you can trust

If you do not know where to start try walking a mile after school, or a mile on the treadmill before dinner. If you have a pet that needs to be taken on daily walks, take it with you, or a friend! Get a walking pad for indoor use and use it while doing work or watching tv. Try different ways so walking can become part of your daily routine!