During busy days, it may seem difficult to get outside and be active. However, something as simple as a daily walk can be instrumental in helping you stay healthy, reduce stress, and improve your mood.

Walking Benefits

Studies have shown that walking has many benefits, including helping people maintain a healthy weight, preventing a variety of health conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure, strengthening bones, improving mood, and enhancing coordination. A meta-analysis conducted by the University of London tracked more than 450,000 individuals in seven countries who were free of cardiovascular disease and found that walking at least 30 minutes each day reduces the risk of heart attacks by 31 percent, and the risk of dying prematurely from any cause by 32 percent.

According to the American Heart Association, walking for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week is a great and effective way to protect your heart, and reduce the risk of conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes. With all of this in mind, finding the time to squeeze a short daily walk into your routine is a wise choice that can help protect your health for years to come.

Correct Walking Technique

In order to get the most out of your daily walk, you’ll want to engage in the correct technique:

  • Keep your head up and look ahead rather than at the ground.
  • Move your arms. This promotes more movement throughout the body, and helps increase circulation.
  • Keep abdominal muscles strong. Toning your stomach muscles supports correct spine position, and supports your upper body.
  • Keep the neck, shoulder and back relaxed. These parts of your body should be upright and erect but not rigid. Rigidity promotes stiffness, and increases the potential for injury.

Tips to Incorporate Walks into Your Days

Although it may seem daunting, incorporating daily walks into your life can be very simple. The most important piece of establishing a new routine is to make it fun, so aim to plan a daily walk to a local coffee shop with a friend, or do a lap around the park during your lunch break. Establish realistic goals and track all of your progress. You’ll be surprised by how much you can achieve.

In addition to being a healthy and enjoyable form of activity, walking is accessible to nearly everyone. In order to incorporate the benefits of walking into your life, aim for one short, brisk walk each day. In addition to spending time outside and enjoying some fresh air, you’ll begin to enjoy the health benefits of walking in no time.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Walking-Your-steps-to-health

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/Walking/Walk-Dont-Run-Your-Way-to-a-Healthy-Heart_UCM_452926_Article.jsp