From your heart to your mood, the benefits of a walk are incredible. You will be astonished to find out what a simple walk can do for us!

Have you ever thought how good can be to walk? If you are always busy and have not enough time to practice a sport, find at least 30 minutes a day to walk. You won’t even imagine how much benefits it will give you. More than two thousand years ago Ippocrate would say that walking is “the best medicine” and recent researches agree with him. Let’s see together what benefits we are talking about + 5 good habits to adopt immediately – both at house and on holiday – in order to activate our body, be healthy and minimize our impact on the planet.

Walk and sweep away any negativity

According to the studies of London School of Economics, to walk is the best activity to keep fit. You don’t need any particular instrument nor to go in any particular place. If you go walking you can plan your activity as you like: you can choose to do it alone or with friends, when and where you want. Your body and soul will thank you!

The London School of Economics studied 50,000 patients from 1999 to 2012 aiming to verify how their body would react to gym exercises in comparison with a regular walk. The findings showed that a 30 minutes walk per day is the best way to keep fit. To walk is the most natural movement you can do – as the researchers claimed – and a 30 minutes walk a day is better than going to the gym if you want to be fit.

Walking is good for your body and soul.
Walking is good for your body and soul. Photo by Aleksandr Ledogorov on Unsplash

1. Walking is good for your eyes

While we are usually stuck in front of a computer in our everyday life, or we use to read a book, cook or stay at home or closed in an office, a walk in the outdoor will be good for your eyes because you will improve your vision looking at something far away from you , especially if you walk into a natural environment. It may seem a banality, but it is not always so obvious.

2. On foot travelling reduces the risk to have diabetes

Walking helps preventing not just joint, heart and lung problems, but it improves also our metabolism and reduces the risk of diabetes. Walking contributes to metabolise glucose and activates the whole body, making it work faster and fluently.

3. Walking helps you losing weight and invigorating your muscles

Your own eyes will be able to see the benefits of a 30 minutes walk a day. Regular walking, together with healthy eating and enough sleeping, will let you see how much it can do to help you burning fats, losing weight or maintaining your weight goal. At the same time it works also as a perfect way to tone your muscles.

Invigorate your muscles while walking.
Invigorate your muscles while walking. Photo by Arek Adeoye via Unsplash

4. If you walk you are less sensitive to diseases

Thanks to the better working of the circulatory system, your immune defences will be more active, the endorphin levels will raise, the lymphatic system will improve, stress levels will be lower and you will feel more relaxed. Relaxation is indeed what makes your immune system more efficient.

5. Reduce the risk of breast cancer

According to a research published on the American Association for Cancer Research newspaper, meno-pausal women walking regularly for at least 30 minutes every day reduce by 10% the risk of breast cancer compared to who has a sedentary lifestyle.

6. When you walk you train your heart

The heart is a muscle: the more it is trained, the stronger it gets. Keep your heart rate under control and you will see how much the perseverance of walking benefits to your circulatory system and the oxygenation of your body.

7. Walking to reduce cellulite

Every step is like a massage that relocates the subcutaneous fat and fights the so called “orange peel” skin. When we sit down for a long time with our legs crossed, the circulation loses its fluency and cellulites increases. Get into the habit of walking after a working day and this problem will disappear!

8. Walk and live longer

Thanks to a simple regular walk of 25 minutes your life will be from 3 to 7 years longer, as scientists claim. Indeed, walking reduces the risk of heart attacks after being 50 and reduces also the chance to fall ill, letting you live a helthier and longer life.

Walking in a natural environment sweeps away stress and improves creativity.
Walking in a natural environment sweeps away stress and improves creativity. Photo by Caleb Jones via Unsplash

9. Walking meetings to boost creativity

The benefits of a walk are not just physical. When you walk you free your mind, you distract yourself and let your thoughts run free. This is even better if you are sorrounded by nature: you will breath clean and fresh air and you will feel more relaxed and inspired. A lot of successful people, such as Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, have adopted this good habit of walking. Even “walking meetings” have started to spread in Silicon Valley (and not just there). These are working meetings that are held while walking in the open air, just because walking boosts concentration and creativity. Are you ready to give room to new ideas?

10. Walking makes you happy

When your mind is lighter you feel more relaxed and in a good mood. An English study shows indeed how a walk in a natural environment can save from negative thoughts. Spend this time to distract yoursef from the arrangements for the day and focus on you.

Physical and mind benefits of walking

5 tips on how to walk more, also when you are on holiday

Walking has incredible effects on our body and soul. But how can we do to walk more? Here there are 5 good habits you should adopt as soon as possible:

1) Wake up your body with a regenerating walk

After having been sit at a desk for a whole working day, we feel tired and numbed. Too much inactivity can lead to back pain, slow metabolism and other joint problems. By making the right amount of physical movement, you will manage to fight these problems and feel better.

2) The good habit of walking to go to work

Every opportunity is worthy to exploit the benefits of a walk. If you live near your working place, leave your car at home, go out some minutes in advance and go on foot. This will not just be good for your health, but for the planet, too: in your own small way you will reduce the traffic pollution and say goodbye to traffic problems. If you need to use the car to go to work anyway, find a parking lot that is not close to your working place and enjoy your walk.

3) Holiday walking

Holiday walking

When you are on holiday avoid cars and buses and find out destinations that are close to your hotel and that you can reach on foot. This way you will better enjoy the atmosphere of the place because you will have the chance to walk through the alleys and reach areas where cars can not go, with the advantage of a closer and deeper exploration of your holiday destination.  You can choose destinations that are easy to reach without a car, such as the Alpine Pearls, which offer a lot of opportunities to freely wander around and beautiful on foot itineraries.

4) Walk near your house

At home, after having lunch or just before or after working, a walk can be your moment of relaxation, when you can restore from the stress of the day, spend some time in the open air, listen to your favourite music and focus on whatever goes on your mind. If you do not like to walk on your own, call some friends and walk in company. It will even be funnier and time will pass fast, making your walk a perfect moment to stay with friends, too.

5) Walk with your four-legged friend

“I take the dog for a walk!”. There is no better motivation for going walking. Most of all if you are an old person, a dog will not just mean company, but also a good reason to go for a walk and fight sedentariness. Moreover, researches found out that people with dogs are not just more active, but they do more open air exercise and don’t refuse to do it also when there is bad weather.

To have a dog is a perfect incentive to go walking.
To have a dog is a perfect incentive to go walking. Photo by Luiza Sayfullina via Unsplash

And you, what do you think about it? What are the strategies you use to walk more, also when you are on holiday?

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La Verna and the sacred forests: when walking in nature is an exercise for the soul!

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Author: Silvia Gandolfi

Hi everybody! I am Silvia, a 21-year-old girl studying Foreign Languages in Trento. To travel is what I like the most: I’d love to do it for the rest of my life. In my free time I enjoy playing sports or looking for something new to do with my friends. I think it is important to live a life respecting nature and the world around us.
More posts by Silvia Gandolfi →

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