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The Power of Walking

Five reasons why walking is the best remedy

Walking is definitely underrated. We live in a world filled with high-intensity workouts, fitness gadgets, and complex wellness routines, but a simple exercise method often gets overlooked. Beyond being a primary mode of transportation, walking is the key to physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. So, without the pun intended, let's stroll through why walking should be incorporated into your daily routine.

Transforms physical health

Let's start with the obvious reasons....Walking is a natural, low-impact exercise and promotes cardiovascular health by improving blood circulation, reducing the risk of heart disease, and lowering blood pressure. According to the Harvard Medical School, their researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. Among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half. Just walking from 10 - 30 minutes daily supports joint health and enhances overall flexibility. Ultimately, the simplicity of walking makes it an ideal exercise for people of all fitness levels and ages.

Promotes well-being and mental clarity

Scientifically, walking increases oxygen flow to the brain, stimulating cognitive function and enhancing focus, creativity, and problem-solving skills. The Mental Health Foundation reported that in a recent study, participants who were more physically active felt more content, more awake and calmer after being physically active compared to after periods of inactivity. Incorporating regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety

Stress has become a constant issue for many who lead a fast-paced life; therefore, getting away from the hustle and bustle can help detach. Walking, especially in natural surroundings, has proven to be effective by providing an opportunity to clear your mind, reflect on your thoughts, and return with a renewed sense of calmness.

 Reconnect with nature

Nature is beautiful and we often forget it. If you think about it when we look at nature on our phones it's a second-hand experience, but why don't you take the time to explore yourself? A daily walk in a nearby park or along a scenic trail allows you to reconnect with nature. Did you know that being around greenery and natural surroundings positively impacts mental health? a few theories suggest that since our ancestors evolved in wild settings and relied on the environment for survival, we have an innate drive to connect with nature. Over the last few years, research has been conducted that walks in green spaces have been linked to improved mood, decreased feelings of anxiety and depression, and an overall sense of well-being. 

Encourages social interaction 

Although you can walk alone, walking with others provides a great opportunity to reconnect with others and strengthen our social networks. Whether it's a stroll with a friend, a family walk after work, or joining a local hiking or walking group, it fosters community and support. Social interactions are crucial for mental health, and walking creates a conducive environment for meaningful conversations.

Environmental benefits 

Last but certainly not least, it's essential to highlight the environmental benefits walking has! Walking is a sustainable form of exercise with minimal impact on the environment, making it an eco-friendly choice for those mindful of their ecological footprint. According to the European Environment Agency, transport is responsible for about a quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and causes air pollution, noise pollution and habitat fragmentation. Yikes! So choosing to walk instead of taking the car or other means of travel is the best option to help reduce our carbon footprint.

In conclusion, walking is a powerful tool for physical and mental well-being. So, lace up your trainers or sneakers (whatever you call them), step outside, and embrace the power of walking.

While you walk, listen to The Green Diary, where we talk about more sustainability tips!

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