Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.  

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Healthy Benefits of Walking

Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training. 

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also great for fun, and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighborhood streets. There are various clubs, venues, and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable social part of your lifestyle. 

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

  • increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness 
  • Improves mood (releases happy endorphins) 
  • improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, diabetes, and joint and muscular pain or stiffness. 
  • stronger bones and improved balance 
  • increased muscle strength and endurance
  • reduced body fat. 

If it’s too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at one time, do regular small bouts (10 minutes) three times per day and gradually build up to longer sessions. Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include: 

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator (for at least part of the way). 
  • Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home. 
  • Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops. 
  • Walk the dog (or your neighbour’s dog).