- Walking is one of the simplest yet effective forms of exercise.
- It is beneficial to the body, mind, heart, and overall health.
- Walking has been proven to improve well-being and increase lifespan and productivity.
Different simple and short-period physical activities can also improve health. One of them is walking. Walking, specifically brisk walking for about 20-30 minutes a day, can already do wonders to the body. According to much research, heading out for a 20-minute walk can positively impact the mind, body, and overall health. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce body fat, and strengthen bones and muscles.
Robert Salis, a physician, and sports medicine doctor at Kaiser Permanente, also shares that many studies have already presented evidence that walking can provide several benefits such as improving one’s health, lifespan, and productivity.
Here are the many benefits that a 20-minute walk provides.
1. It can burn up to 110 body calories.
Walking briskly for 20 minutes requires you to take around 2000-3000 steps and roughly take you as far as one mile. With that, you can already burn 90-110 calories. Brisk walking can make your heart work faster and increase blood supply to the different muscles. Pumping up your muscles will lead to more burning of calories. Extended benefits will then include improving cardiovascular health, maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reducing inflammation.
2. It can reduce the risk of death due to any cause.
One study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015 showed that a daily 20-minute brisk walk can reduce the risk of death by about 30%.
The participants included people who led sedentary lives and moderately inactive lives. Researchers observed that significant results were seen among those who are moderately inactive but the greatest reduction in death risk was experienced by people who are sedentary.
3. It can increase energy levels.
Researchers at the University of Georgia published the results of their study in the Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics journal. In the particular study, they found out that walking for about 20 minutes thrice a week for six weeks can increase energy levels by 20% and reduce feelings of fatigue.
4. It can improve one’s creativity and imagination.
In the Scientific Reports journal, a study shared that walking can enhance creativity. It was also found out that those participants who were most active, walking often and exercising moderately, were the ones who are most creative also. Furthermore, those who were more active were likely to be happier too.
5. It can prevent weight gain.
While you have to do the extra mile to achieve this benefit, one research shows that it is indeed effective. In 2011, 7740 women and 4564 men were included in a research conducted by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health. The researchers noted that one hour of brisk walking every day can lessen the body’s influence on the genes responsible for gaining weight and becoming obese.
Besides, the study found that sedentary activities, like sitting and watching TV, done for almost two hours daily, can increase the chances of activating the obesity-causing genes by 25%. On the other hand, walking for about an hour reduces the said chances by as much or turns the genes off totally.