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BlogHealthAccording to Science: How 30-minute Daily Walk Can Benefit Your Health

According to Science: How 30-minute Daily Walk Can Benefit Your Health

6 mins read
Olena Lastivka
Written by Olena Lastivka
Olena Lastivka

Written by Olena Lastivka

Olena is a nutrition and healthcare writer, runner, and gym enthusiast. She is keen on health and fitness research, modern studies on sports and nutrition, and various physical activities. 

on October 21, 2022

Walking just 30 minutes a day can make you way healthier and happier! Devote a little time to take care of your body, and it will give you so much in return. Read on to find out how walking affects your mind and body and how much you need to walk in a day.

Table of content

Benefits of walking

Walking for fitness and general health is an effortless physical activity that has many additional benefits: 

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  • You can walk as much as you can and anywhere you can. There is no need to get ready and spend much time arriving at a venue (as when you need to go to the gym, tennis court, or swimming pool). 
  • It is a safe exercise that suits almost everyone. Walking has a much lower risk of trauma than, for instance, running or strength and HIIT training. 
  • Walking is beneficial to your cardiovascular health. Walking at a high pace reduces cardiovascular disease mortality risks because it strengthens your heart muscle and lowers blood pressure.
  • It is easy to combine walking with other activities. You can listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts, walk and talk with somebody, sightsee, and take photos. 
  • Walking improves the quality of sleep. As with any other cardio exercise, walking makes you fall asleep faster and feel more energized when you wake up.   
  • Your mental health also benefits from walking. This simple activity can reduce anxiety levels and the risk of depression. In addition, regular exercise helps to boost self-esteem.  
  • Breathing fresh air while walking improves your immunity. Brisk walking and consuming a lot of oxygen strengthens your muscles and your response to viruses.
  • Appetite reduction. In addition to burning calories, walking can also tame your hunger. The reason is that walking influences appetite-related hormones and thus decreases cravings for high-calorie foods.  
  • Lower risk of diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Research has shown that both runners and walkers equally reduce these risks if they exercise regularly.
  • There is a big variety of activities related to walking. You can eventually switch to Scandinavian walking, tourism, power walking, or brisk walking. Changing your route from time to time also helps to avoid monotony. 
benefits of walking
benefits of walking

Possible side effects 

Walking is generally harmless to your health and has far more benefits than drawbacks. But there are some things you need to be aware of: 

  • If your footwear is not comfortable, you might get blisters or foot pain. 
  • Walking in hot weather can lead to sunstroke or dehydration. 
  • Long distances can cause fatigue and muscle soreness. 
  • Intensive walking is not the best activity for people who already have health conditions. 
  • Walking in bad or even extreme weather conditions might be too risky. 
side effects of walking
side effects of walking

How many minutes a day for walking is enough to improve health

You can start with walking 30 minutes a day. You don't even need to devote extra time to it. You can make a little 15-minute walk to your job or school. Here's how you can do it: 

  • Take off one stop earlier if you use public transport. 
  • Park your car a bit further from the destination to walk to the venue. 
  • If you study or work remotely, walk around your neighborhood before or after work. 
  • When you meet up with friends, offer them to walk instead of sitting in one place all the time. 

You can start feeling positive changes in your health because of these 30 minutes of walking every day. Then you can gradually increase your walking time to 45 minutes or 1 hour. In general, walking 3-5 miles a day should be enough for you to enjoy all the benefits of walking.  

walking time
walking time

Why walking is a good exercise to lose weight 

You burn about 100 calories when you walk 1 mile. It means you can burn around 300 calories an hour if you walk at a rather fast pace. Of course, this number is different for people of different ages and weights. 

For example, a woman who weighs 160 pounds and is 30 years old burns 90 calories if she walks at the speed of 3.5 mph. As you walk further, you can burn a bit more calories every next mile. Choosing difficult routes with hills and uneven surfaces can increase the number of calories you burn even more. 

Many physical activities such as CrossFit, classic weight training, tennis, and team sports such as basketball and football increase your appetite. It makes you cover up for the burnt calories and consume more food. Running and walking, on the contrary, makes you less hungry during the day or at least doesn't change the amount of food you want to consume.

walking as exercise
walking as exercise

Tips

  • Buy comfortable footwear, so nothing bothers you while walking. 
  • Your clothes should also be comfy and appropriate to the weather conditions. 
  • Grab a snack and a bottle of water in case you get hungry or thirsty. 
  • Change your route and destination to see different places each time. 
  • Find a walking buddy or get a dog. Walking will instantly become more interesting, and it will be harder for you to find an excuse to skip it. 
walking tips
walking tips

How do you feel about my article?

Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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