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How Walking Benefits Your Health

By Rachel Shouse

Walking is seen as second nature. You do it all day. So how can that be helpful? There are a lot of benefits to walking that a lot of people overlook. There are a handful of low impact exercises available and all you need for this one is your legs. Walking is about as simple as it can get. Walking for 30 minutes per day can bring benefits to your physical health, mental health and social life. 

Walking Is a Great Way to Exercise

There are a lot of people who need a low impact type of exercise because of injuries or restrictions. Walking is a great way to raise your heart rate. Studies show that taking 30 minutes out of your day for some form of exercise promotes health: cardiovascular and pulmonary health, stronger bones and muscles, and improved balance and endurance. 

Walking is easy to adjust to your current fitness level and health. You have all the control. You get to decide how far and fast you go. It's also easy to bump up the challenge slowly. You could start by walking around your community. Eventually you could bump it up to trails and hikes. 

Walking Benefits Mental Health

You hear about how great exercise is for your physical health, but you may not hear about how great regular exercise is for your mental health. Getting exercise every day not only reduces the risk of depression, but also helps relieve depression symptoms. This happens because regular exercise promotes good changes in the brain, such as:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Neural growth
  • Promotes thoughts of calm and well-being

Exercise is also used to treat anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which is one of the feel-good chemicals your brain makes on its own. Some people don't make enough of this chemical, which can cause varying types of mental illnesses. It is recommended that those with anxiety could really benefit from exercising and being mindful of things like: counting your steps, breaths, and focusing on what you can see and feel. These types of techniques are called grounding and are used for anxiety treatment quite often.

How Walking Can Benefit Your Social Life

Walking is the type of exercise that can include friends and others you love. Sometimes it can feel hard to talk while you exercise. Fortunately, walking will raise your heart rate, but it shouldn't make it impossible to carry on a conversation. 

Many people struggle to find time for exercise because they live busy lives. If you exercise and socialize at the same time, you're checking off two things on your daily list right there. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Santa Rosa, Calif.

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