Most people don’t remember how they learned to walk. It’s just an evolved primal instinct all humans learn from an early age. Yet, we rely on this ability everyday. It never enters our minds that walking gives us untold advantages. In fact, most people will unknowingly walk an estimated 5,000 steps or, when converted, approximately 5 miles per day. It all stems from the power of walking. So, let’s learn more about how you can benefit from each step you take.

walking benefits outdoors relaxation

It may seem trivial to say, but walking will keep you healthy. No one seems to really consider walking a true form of exercise. But, it can be more powerful than you think. Even 30-minutes per day (outside your normal schedule) can help control high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of most strokes. The benefits are numerous, but here are some surprising facts about walking you may not know.

  • Walking could be better for you than running. According to one study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, they discovered that the energy being used by walkers yielded better health results than most runners.
  • Walking can help to heal your brain. Everyday, our brains are overwhelmed with intense stimuli from our environments i.e. phone screens, commutes to work, honking cars. So, walking gives our brain time to relax while we let our body do most of the work.
  • Walking can treat depression. Multiple studies have shown encouraging results in mental health due to regular exercise. In fact, similar studies have proved that keeping active can be more powerful than most anti-depressants.

Another often forgot about advantage of walking is relaxation. We’re always on the move which means we rarely take time to ourselves. Walking allows time for reflection. Moments of peace that can ultimately benefit our physical and spiritual well-being. Believe it or not, there are aspects of our daily lives that can have negative psychological effects on us. Our happiness can easily be hindered by the tiniest disturbances or stresses in our lives. Walking provides us with the opportunity to remove ourselves from the world and recharge. Essentially, giving us a happier life and a fresh perspective on what really matters.

walking mental health advantages

Addiction can be one of the hardest challenges to overcome. When you enter sobriety, your mind isn’t focused on staying active. However, studies have shown that exercising – or any form of physical activity – can help tremendously in your effort to stay sober. In the end, it simply replaces one high for another. When you exercise, you release endorphins which ultimately provides your body with natural energy. It also helps to alleviate certain negative effects like sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression during your recovery. However, we’re not all born natural athletes. So, consider starting small. Walking can provide an easy transition into exercising or could be useful when trying to take your mind off your ailments. Whatever the case, you’ve already taken your biggest step forward. Now, just keep going.

Our lives can be complicated. But, taking care of yourself should be simple. So, whether you’re looking to begin exercising or release some stress, the power of walking is always there. It all starts with taking one step forward.