Proven Benefits Why Walking Is Good For Body And Mind

You Should Walk For Good Health!

Health Benefits Of Walking
Health Benefits Of Walking
A daily walk at a moderate pace is good for body and mind and walking can help you live a healthier life. You probably already know that walking and other forms of physical activity are beneficial to your overall health. 

However, there are numerous advantages to walking in particular. Walking is unquestionably beneficial to your health. Walking is considered as one of the most widely manageable and reasonable exercises which is least expensive. 

Walking is convenient as it can be performed at any age. There is no restriction of gender or occupation. Walking is safe to perform as an exercise as its intensity, duration, frequency and timing can be regulated easily. Walking involves large skeletal muscles that provide multifarious benefits with minimal adverse effects. Walking is rarely linked with physical injury. 

Despite all these beneficial points of walking, people may think that walking is less effective as compared to higher-impact workouts. However, study of runners and walkers found that after 6 years of follow-up the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes was reduced both in moderate-intensity walking as well as higher-intensity running. The faster the walking pace, the greater the risk reduction observed. 

Health Benefits of Walking

In addition to its easiness and affordability walking has various health benefits too. When walking is performed at a pace of 3–5 m/h (5–8 km/h), it can be classified as moderate intensity exercise. Various systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown the benefits of walking in terms of improving fitness, resting blood pressure, weight loss, depression and prevention of cardiovascular disease risk.

1. Cardiovascular Benefits

At least 30 min of moderate intensity physical activity is recommended by Current physical activity guidelines and it needs to be performed on most days of the week. 

Walking decreases the risk of heart disease, increases heart rate, decreases blood pressure and provide cardiovascular strengthening. 

Hypertension is one of the key risk factors of cardiovascular diseases. Life style modification such as increasing physical activity is an important factor for the prevention and control of hypertension. There are several studies which support the beneficial effect of walking to decrease blood pressure. However, these findings are inconsistent. 

2. Strengthening of Bones

The effects on BMD are commonly considered, however, the results are inconsistent as observed in various studies. Some studies show positive effects on hip and column BMD in women of menopausal age when brisk walking or jogging was performed. On the other hand, minor loss of BMD in both the hip and the spine in menopausal women was observed with jogging combined with stair climbing and walking. It is suggested that walking/jogging must reach a adequate high level of mechanical stress which can create an important ground reaction force to stimulate bone mass. 

In a study on premenopausal and postmenopausal women, walking for more than 6 months showed no significant effects on BMD at the lumbar spine though substantial and positive effects on femoral neck BMD in these groups were apparent. 

3. Longer Life Expectancy

Research findings support that daily walking is likely to prevent primary and secondary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illness. Also, this may be a promising and effective choice for elderly with chronic conditions. Adopting regular walking into daily life may improve quality of life among the elderly and increase life expectancy. 

4. Lift Your Spirits

Health Benefits of Walking in nature
Walking In Nature
Studies reveal that walking can be helpful to alter mood. 10 minutes of brisk walking decrease fatigue-related mood state. 
In another study, walking in nature is shown to be very effective for persons with major depressive disorder (MDD).

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5. Weight Reduction

Brisk Walking can reduce body fat. It improves metabolism and helps in to burns calories. Brisk walking is shown to increase lean muscle mass. Walking plus healthy lifestyle and nutritious eating can help you achieve long-lasting weight control. 

Walking For Weight Reduction
Walking For Weight Reduction
Walking exercise is effective and preventive interventions to sustain appropriate weight. It is therefore recommended as a major treatment for insulin resistance. Walking is good choice for obese women or women with metabolic syndrome who are at relatively high clinical risk. 12 weeks of walking is effective to make encouraging effects like lowering risk of cardiovascular disorders and metabolic syndromes for example obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and high blood pressure.

6. Effects on Sleep

The safety and effect of walking on sleep quality in healthy workers was evaluated in a 4-week study by Dr. Hikaru Hori et al. This study was consisted of two phases:
  • A screening phase (14 days) – To rule out any neurological, somatic or psychiatric illnesses which can influence the sleep disturbance
  • An intervention phase (28 days)
During the screening phase, pedometers were worn by the participants and they were not allowed to change their lifestyles. The outcomes of this study showed that the time to sleep onset was reduced with walking intervention with an increase in the total sleep duration. 

 7. Effects on Mental Health

Walking is a complex process which involves interaction of neuromuscular, sensory, and cognitive functions. Walking ability can be related to improve cognition and decision-making. Studies have shown that walking helps in to prevent cognitive decline and lowers the risk of dementia. For example, in one study, elderly women who performed regular long-term walking showed improved cognitive function and lowered the level of cognitive decline. In addition, older adults participating in brisk walking for 2 years displayed comparatively improved cognitive function as compared to those who did not participate, and increased walking was associated with a lower occurrence and risk of dementia

8. Improved Cholesterol Levels

Regular walking can also help lowering high blood pressure, decreasing low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) instead of taking risky medications with unpleasant side effects. 

9. Immunity Booster

Nowadays, everyone is looking for strategies to strengthen their immune systems, and walking looks like a good choice. Research in particular, increases our immune system when done at a moderate level. It raises the quantity of immune cells that fight pathogens in our body, reducing our risk of developing life-threatening infectious diseases. Additionally, studies show that people who walk more often spend less time in the hospital if they do get sick. According to one study, those who walk frequently have a lower risk of dying from pneumonia than people who don't regularly exercise.

Take Aways

Walking reduces stress and depression, controls blood pressure and cholesterol, manages and lowers the risk of diabetes, strengthens bones, keeps you strong, active, and healthy, lowers the chance of heart attack and stroke, and enhances digestion. According to current research, walking can reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhance sleep, and enhance cognitive performance. These benefits lead to improvements in people's quality of life and lower medical costs associated with treating these disorders. Despite several studies showing the advantages of walking for both physical and mental health, few people walk regularly.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

How much walking per day is good for health?

Your level of fitness and level of conditioning will determine how much walking is "too much" for you. There is no set number of miles to decide or consider a walk to be excessive or insufficient. On the other hand, it's best to start with shorter walks and gradually increase the distance walked as fitness goals are reached. Your performance may suffer if you continue to walk excessively or with excessive intensity. You may have stiffness and heaviness in muscles; and/or mental symptoms like irritability and depression.

Is walking 30 minutes a day enough?

The current guidelines for physical activity recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. There is no need to walk around for hours. According to the physical activity guidelines for adults aged 19 to 64, a vigorous 10-minute daily walk has numerous health benefits and counts toward your 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Is it better to walk every day or every other day?

Listen to your body. It depends upon the fitness level of your body. Walking a lot can be harmful if your walking routine is too strenuous. You may develop pain and swelling along and discomfort during or after walk. So, it is suggested that you should take a break to recover when needed. 

How many calories you burn while walking?

There is no doubt that you can burn calories by walking. You can either maintain or lose weight by burning calories.
Your actual calorie burn will vary depending on a number of factors, including your weight, walking speed, distance covered, terrain (walking uphill burns more calories than walking on flat ground), and your body weight.
Using a calorie calculator, you can find out how many calories you burnt actually.

Does walking count as a Cardio workout?

The short form for “cardiovascular” we often use, is “Cardio”. The term cardiovascular includes both the heart (cardio) as well as blood vessels (vascular). Walking involves your heart and lungs, as well as your large muscle groups. Hence, walking can be considered as a type of cardiovascular activity or we can say cardiovascular workout. If you want to strengthen your cardiovascular system, you need to increase your pace, duration and intensity of walking.


  1. Very useful article... Just to the point... Easy to study and understand...Keep up the good work

  2. Interesting list of benefits. Thanks for sharing

  3. Nothing better than a brisk walk especially now in autumn! For me walking is much easier than most common intense exercises due to a chronic illness that prevents me from more strenuous workouts. I loved reading your thoughts on it!

  4. I’m a big fan of walking. I get outside for at least a 15-minute walk year round. If I miss a few days in a row, I really notice it.

  5. I love walking and do a lot of it whenever I can; it has so many benefits it was great to read more about it here. I hope more and more people get to experience the outdoors in what ever way they can!

  6. I enjoy walking but always worried it wasn't enough of a workout so this post was very reassuring, especially this tidbit: "walking is performed at a pace of 3–5 m/h (5–8 km/h), it can be classified as moderate intensity exercise. 30 min of moderate intensity physical activity is recommended by Current physical activity guidelines and it needs to be performed on most days of the week." Combining walking with some strength training will help with BMD also. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for the post. It is very nice and I have been looking for it.

  8. I definitely feel the benefits of walking on a daily basis. It helps to get you moving, and it's so good for your mental health too. Thank you for sharing :)

  9. Very useful article. Walking can often be the forgotten method of exercise. It is good to remember just how important it is and how beneficial it can be.

  10. I love walking and try to do it as much as possible. I'm listening to music or podcast and it's my "me" time. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Thank you for sharing these benefits. I feel better after taking a walk. I have more energy during the day and sleep better at night.

  12. I love walking with no destination in mind. It is definitely a mood changer. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Good suggestions. Walking is good for us and even better of in nature. I walk because I have to keep my BP down as I have inherited hypertension.

  14. These are great things to walk. Definitely help with the life expectancy. Very informative post!


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