Walking is a simple and free way to get the benefits of exercise. In this article we will discuss walking an hour a day benefits, the many reasons why walking is so important, as well as share some of my favorite tips for how you can walk an hour a day!
Walking an hour a day is good for your health
Walking an hour a day is good for your heart! According to the Heart Foundation, walking 10,000 steps per day reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by 40%.
Also according to the American Heart Association, walking one hour or more per day reduces your risk of death from all causes by 14%, and risk of death from heart disease alone by 24-30%.
The evidence is clear that walking an hour a day has health benefits that extend into every aspect of life.
You will automatically eat less if you walk an hour a day
Every step you take burns off 1.5 calories (6kcal).
Therefore reducing calorie intake without having to deliberately restrict it; is especially important for those who are watching their weight.
So if you are looking to lose weight, walking an hour a day is good for you!
Walking an hour a day prevents or improves osteoporosis of the hip
Walking one hour per day decreases your risk of developing osteoporosis by 20-30%.
This makes sense as since weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones, walking would also strengthen them too.
Also, there have been studies that have shown that 40 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can maintain bone density in postmenopausal women after they have stopped taking the hormone estrogen (which slows down the rate at which older women lose bone).
Your mood will improve if you walk an hour a day
Apparently, 10,000 steps or around one hour of slow-paced walking per day stimulates both your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The first system controls all bodily functions that are not consciously controlled including heartbeat, respiratory rate etc.
The second system is more involved with the relaxation response which slows down the first system thus creating a sense of calmness.
Since seemingly small things can have effects on somebody functions, these benefits must be real!
So if you are feeling stressed out or anxious, try taking an hour walk for relief.
Preventing heart disease is only part of why you should do cardiovascular exercise
Getting healthy isn’t just about preventing heart disease (although this is definitely a good reason to walk!) but also because it helps lower blood pressure, reduces body fat and decreases the risk of developing diabetes.
So if you are looking to improve your diet or just want to get healthy then walking is definitely for you!
Walking an hour a day improves the quality of your sleep
Getting enough shut-eye is key to good health; however many people aren’t getting enough rest. This could be because they are stressed about not having enough time in the day (a common problem today).
Recent research suggests that after 6 to 8 hours of sleep, our bodies begin producing melatonin (the hormone which controls our internal clock) for only another two hours.
Consequently, insufficient sleep has been linked with increased levels of obesity, heart disease and depression.
For this reason, it’s important that we address the lack of sleep problem and how we can increase our quality of sleep.
Walking an hour a day improves your sex life
There are many ways to boost your libido (sex drive), improving fertility, increasing stamina & strength are just some things that you can do to help improve your sex life.
While there are many other strategies to use I will mention only one more because it is my favorite- walking!
The link between sex and exercise seems logical enough but there have been studies that show that it actually works!
For example, in one study, men who walked two hours per week had less trouble with erectile dysfunction than those who didn’t walk.
So if you thinking about trying this approach, why not go for a walk with your partner to get started!
Walking is a good exercise for losing weight
It’s no secret that you can lose weight by walking but did you know this is because it boosts your metabolic rate?
A study in England found that one hour of briskly walking increased resting energy expenditure (the number of calories burned when resting) by an average of 130-150 calories per day.
So if you are wondering how long does it take to burn 300 calories then wonder no more- it takes 60 minutes of brisk walking!
Walking will help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis
According to studies, people who have the lowest bone mineral density also tend to be sedentary.
This suggests that physical activity can have a positive effect on bone health. Regular physical activity is important for the maintenance of bone density because it decreases the rate at which bones lose mass, but individual activities vary in their effects on bone strength.
For example, it has been found that high impact exercises increase bone mineral density by two to three percent while low impact exercise increases bone mineral density by only one percent.
So it’s important that you find an activity that you enjoy (like walking!) and make sure to do it every day- not just when you feel like it.
Walking an hour a day benefits your heart
Your body needs regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of disease; however many people don’t get enough exercise.
One reason for this is that many people find walking to be too easy and don’t think it’s actually doing anything.
However walking an hour a day benefits your heart by strengthening your muscles, bones & joints; helps control your cholesterol levels; reduces the risk of diabetes; decreases blood pressure; increases circulation; burns calories & fat; improves mood & sleep quality!
Tips for how you can walk an hour a day!
As an important form of exercise, walking is meant to keep your energy levels high and help you lead a healthy lifestyle. An hour of walking can burn up to 300 calories without having too much impact on your body!
Here are some of my favorite tips for how you can walk an hour a day!
Walking during your commute or after work
If you live close enough to where you work, I would highly recommend walking there instead! It’s a great way to start your morning with some exercise.
And it also gives you the opportunity for some quiet thinking time before the hustle and bustle of the day started.
If that isn’t possible, however, try walking home from work or school. By doing this once or twice a week, you will have already walked two hours in just a single week!
Walking with friends and family
There is nothing like walking around the neighborhood while having friendly chats and staying active.
Take your kids or your dog for some extra exercise, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures while you’re at it!
This can be a great way to get some free time together while also getting everyone moving.
Going out of your way to walk
Sometimes I find that if I’m driving somewhere new, I’ll often find myself driving past places that would be fun to stop by on foot. Why not change up the route you normally take?
Go for a walk through nature, visit a museum you’ve never been too or check out some cute cafes in the area.
Not only is this great for sightseeing, but it’s one of the best ways to explore your city and keep your feet moving!
Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight
It isn’t easy trying to ignite a regular routine.
For some people, including myself, I have realized just how much effort has to be put into forming new habits.
It can take anywhere from 30 days to 6 months for you to truly turn something into a habit, so don’t get discouraged if you forget or miss a day here or there.
Sometimes all it takes is getting back on track with one walk for things to seem right again.
I hope these simple tips have encouraged you to get outside more often!
Remember that walking an hour a day benefits your health in so many ways, and it doesn’t have to stop here.
By adding other types of physical activity into your daily routine, you can further improve your overall healthy lifestyle!
Walking for just one hour a day can have powerful benefits. It is easy to incorporate into your daily routine, and there are so many ways it has an impact on you, both physically and mentally.
You’ll feel more energized throughout the day, be less likely to suffer from chronic illnesses like obesity or diabetes later in life, experience improved mental health due to increased social interaction opportunities with others who walk as well, and live longer than those who don’t take part in any physical activity at all!
The next time you’re looking for something new to try that will make you healthier overall- give walking a shot.