Fit Tip: 5 Benefits of Walking
Walking isn’t the most exciting form of exercise, but when I was recovering from an injury that prevented me from doing pretty much anything, I realized that walking is actually pretty awesome. Here are some benefits you might not have realized existed.
- Walking increases your creativity. A Stanford study found that walking increases your creativity by 60% compared to sitting. Added bonus: it didn’t matter if you were walking outside or on a treadmill facing a blank wall. The mere act of walking helped people to think outside the box. Perhaps this is why Steve Jobs of Apple fame was known for holding meetings while walking.
- Walking backwards can reduce back pain. Walking backwards increases the flexibility in your hamstrings, which can help prevent back pain. Just make sure you look where you are going! If you are on a treadmill, be sure to reduce your speed.
- It might reduce your risk of catching a cold. Looking for an immune boost? Researchers studied 1,002 people over 12 weeks during cold and flu season and discovered that those who walked at a moderate pace 30–45
- Walking could be better than running. When you are just getting back to fitness walking is a great way to ease into things. If you have knee, ankle or back issues it’s often preferred over running. Walking is low-impact and causes fewer injury rates than running. If you want to work your way up to running, try walking on an incline or a hill. This will build up the muscles in your glutes and help increase your stamina.
- Walking can help you sleep better. A study in the journal Sleep Health that followed fifty-nine people for four weeks found that women who increased their daily steps experienced a deeper, if not longer, sleep versus those who did not. Walking also helps to release endorphins to boost your mood and calm you down, which can also help you rest easier.
Put on a good pair of shoes and get walking! You can go on a treadmill, on a trail or inside a mall if it’s snowing outside. It costs nothing more than your time and offers a whole lot of benefits.