When you think of exercise, what do you think of? Is it going to the gym or some hard-core intense exercise? Or is it that training program you found on google the other day? Although those exercises may be good for your health, they can be so strenuous and exhausting, and sometimes it’s really easy to lose motivation to consistently perform them. However, did you know that simply walking 2 miles a day can have similar benefits without much strain on your body?
Plus, you don’t need any equipment, nor does it take much time, however it is super effective for both your physical and mental health.
Physical Health Benefits Of Walking 2 Miles a Day
Who would have thought that such a low intensity exercise can outperform numerous exercises you see at the gym in terms of your physical and mental wellbeing? Walking is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and here’s why.
Reduces chances of Heart Diseases and Strokes
By simply walking for 2 miles a day, you’re increasing your heart rate and thus, providing blood circulation throughout your body, helping you heal faster, providing yourself with a sharper mind, and ultimately helping your heart become stronger. According to the American Heart Association, walking for 30 minutes reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 20%! If that doesn’t get you out of your house to walk, I don’t know what does! Also, Walking for 1 – 2 hours can significantly reduce the risks of strokes.
Not only does walking prevent health risks, but it also provides health benefits like losing weight. Weight loss doesn’t always have to mean intense cardio workouts, a simple walk is highly beneficial too. Unfortunately, we spend most of our days within the confines of our home offices, just sitting at our desks and working. This can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle fast where you are just eating, working and sleeping. A small walk every day can completely change that! In fact, a study showed that walking burnt around 90 calories an hour, incorporating the hills and inclines within the walk that burnt significantly more calories. This also depends on how fast and far you have walked but generally, just a 2 mile walk per day which is only 30 – 40 min can significantly burn calories and is highly beneficial for weight loss.
Reduces risk of Arthritis
Walking or any low intensity exercise provides constant blood flow to the cartilage, providing it with all the nutrition’s it needs to protect the bones. These small intensity exercises allow for your joints to get lubricated which can reduce stiffness and pain. A really common form of Arthritis is osteoarthritis which is mainly found within old people. As you grow older, exercise becomes less of a priority which leads to less movement and outdoor activity causing arthritis. Hence, even going for a 30 minute walk a day for an elderly person can significantly help them prevent this.
Walking and it’s impact on Digestion
Research has proven that walking is highly beneficial after a meal as it helps digest the food quickly. In fact taking a 10 – 15 min walk after a meal is highly recommended as it allows the food to be reach the small intestines faster. I would suggest going on a slow walk as going to fast may cause stomach pain. This can also help control blood sugar levels. So every time you eat a meal, don’t forget to go on a small walk to digest that food you just ate!
Mental Health Benefits Of Walking 2 Miles a Day
Walking for 30 – 45 min a day has a significant impact in our day to day life and is essential for our mental health. Try this. When you feel upset, angry or depressed, go for a walk outside close to nature and trust me, you will feel much better.
Walking for just 2 miles a day is such a powerful strategy to increase your creativity and overall well being. This is because, walking increases blood circulation in the brain and body meaning that there is more oxygen in the brain, helping you make correct and educated decisions impacting your life. In fact a study was done by Stanford university showing that walking boosts creative inspiration. Overall, the study showed that creative levels were significantly higher for the people who were walking compared to those sitting. So any time you feel like you need your creative mind to start working, go for a 2 mile walk and you will start to notice ideas flowing through your head.
Improve your overall mood!
Studies have proven that walking can significantly impacts your stress, anxiety and depression levels and can reduce them. This is because of the increase in blood flow and circulation in the brain, positively impacting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis “thus on the physiologic reactivity to stress”. In other words, just walking for 2 miles a day has a massive impact on mental state. So the next time you feel unhappy, sad or depressed, try to go for a walk and get that blood flow in your body and brain to make informed choices.
How To Achieve Your Daily Walk Goal?
So now that you know the benefits, make an aim of much you want to walk per day and achieve that goal. Monitor how many steps you have taken through a fit bit or your phone. You don’t actually have to walk in conventional ways and plan out a walking schedule. Here’s how and things you should consider when incorporating walking into your daily life!
Find excuses to walk
Alright this is an easy one.
If you have a puppy, make sure to be the one to walk them every day. Having a dog is probably the best way to get motivated to go for a walk. Maybe invite a friend with you. In fact, walking to schools, to the shops, to work are also great ways to incorporate walking in your regular lifestyle. If your traveling by car, instead travel via public transport to get some walking between each stop. Or even prevent getting on public transport and just walk instead if that’s a possibility. The point is, keep finding excuses to walk and that way you will achieve a much healthier lifestyle.
Wear Good Shoes
Another thing to consider is the type of shoes you wear. Make sure the shoes you’re wearing are comfortable. You won’t believe the problems you might face when wearing bad and low quality shoes. Problems like back pain, joint issues, muscle soreness and numerous other issues in the body. So choose your shoes wisely and don’t try to go for a cheap option, go for the best quality option.
Remember to Warm Up!
Warm ups are extremely important before you go on that first walk. Make sure to stretch out that stiffness in your joints and start walking in a slower pace before commencing a brisk walk. Let your body get used to the exercise before you begin walking at brisk paces and on high inclines!