Published on 13 December 2021

Are Long Walks Beneficial?

Walking Are Long Walks Beneficial
Table of Contents

Walking is arguably the first exercise humans have come across right from the dawn of humankind. Even as infants, walking is the first step we come across. 

When you enter the gym, what's one exercise that's done the most? What's the one machine that everyone uses regularly? THE TREADMILL! Walking is a great way to improve your health. 

Just 30 minutes of walking daily can keep you fit and healthy and give you many benefits, like cardiovascular fitness, strengthening bones, reducing excess body fat, and boosting muscle power and endurance.

Even if a person isn't into exercising, walking is one form of cardio we eventually give into. There are many more advantages to long walks. Let's look into it.

The Science Behind Walking

Professor O'Mara of experimental brain research at Trinity College in Dublin wrote a simple article explaining her thesis on why walking hasn't only been essential in the evolution of mankind but how it's vital for our health. 

In his thesis, he has described how regular walking affects human navigation skills and how specific memories of our wandering can build the ability to map the surroundings we have experienced. 

Studies have shown that regular walking can change the brain's structure in areas responsible for learning and memory. 

Frequently asked questions

A 10-minute daily walk has many health benefits and counts towards 150 minutes of weekly exercise, as recommended in the physical activity guidelines for adults aged 18 to 64.
If you're walking or doing a treadmill, the calorie-burning and fitness benefits are about the same. The joints in your hips and knees work very similarly; walking is better because it saves money and time you invest in the gym.
Walking can also reduce depression, and stress, clear your mind and boost your mood. Those things can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Why Should You Try Long Walks?

Long walks provide various health benefits. Your body and mind become healthy if you indulge in long walks. Some of the health benefits of taking long walks are given below:

Healthy Benefits Of Walking

You carry your body weight when you are walking. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:

Burn Calories

Walking helps you to burn calories and reduce body fats. Walking is a physical activity that burns calories, depending on your walking speed, the distance you cover, the terrain (you’ll burn more calories walking uphill than you’ll burn on a flat surface), and your weight.

Strengthen The Heart

Walking for 30 to 45 minutes daily can reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Lower Your Blood Sugar

A short walk of 10 to 15 minutes can help you to control your blood sugar level. A study by the American Diabetes Association found that walking for 15 minutes after every meal can help you to improve your blood sugar level.

Boost Your Energy

When you are tired, go for a walk instead of drinking coffee. Walking improves your oxygen level. It can also increase levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Those are the hormones that help to boost energy levels.

Improve Your Mood

Walking can help your mental health. It also helps to prevent depression and anxiety-related problem and keep us away from negative thought. To experience these benefits, you need to walk for 30 min daily. 

How Long Should You Walk For?

Long Walking is considered a form of cardio. The name itself tells us that it's beneficial for the heart. Cardio helps regulate the heart and boosts its efficiency. The average human should get at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 times a week; hence walking for such a duration hits the sweet spot. 

The amount of walking also could be subjective depending on your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, walking and burning more calories than you are consuming is recommended. If you aim to keep yourself in perfect health, 30-45 minutes should be more than enough. Start slow and make your way to your goals.

How To Get Started?

To start walking, you need a good pair of shoes. Choose a good walking spot near your home. You can also ask your friends or family member to join to walk with you and hold you accountable. Alternatively, you can add walking to your daily routine. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid using vehicles for the nearby location and go through walking. You can complete your tasks and fit in exercise at the same time.
  • If a park is near your office, take a short walk there during a work break. It can refresh your mind.
  • Instead of going to the gym by car and doing the treadmill over there to burn calories, you can go for a usual walk for 15 to 30 minutes. It can save you money and time.

Walking Dos And Don't

Walking sounds simple, but there's more to it. Injury is an obstacle everyone should prevent; there is no such exercise without any involvement of injuries. 

Do's

Dont's:

Wear comfortable clothes, shoes, and gear.

Avoid using caffeine or any beverage before walking; this could lead to dehydration.

Dress according to the weather.

Don't walk on a full stomach.

Choose a suitable route you're familiar with.

Avoid walking on an uneven surfaces.

The quality of your shoes should be good.

Don't look down all the time while walking, be aware of your surroundings.

Have a full-body warmup for 10 minutes before starting your walk.

Don't go too slow.

Stay hydrated before, during, and after your walk.

If you're new to it, start slow and avoid going extreme for the first time.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution.

Suppose you have trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle due to stress, work, plans, etc. Give walking a shot; the return on investment is pretty high, for it is a minimal exercise almost everyone can perform.

Powerlifting, weight lifting, cross-fit, all these exercises can be pretty stressful, especially with most of us having a busy schedule. Walking is the most accessible exercise, which could give us similar benefits with minimal effort.