Walking 30 minutes a day: What health benefits can you get?
This is one of my favorite topics. Walking. I love walking because it has so many health benefits for people of all ages and fitness levels. And walking can prevent disease, it can prolong your life. And best of all, it's simple. We do it every day and it's very effective.
My name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in gut health. So I work with a lot of people who struggle with the daily bloat, gas, maybe some constipation or diarrhea. So they're really struggling and I help to heal their gut.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, you can easily make an initial appointment. Or if you're the kind of person who likes to do things on their own, you can download our free guide, which is Five Ways to Improve your Gut Health.
So either way, you're in good hands, have an initial appointment with me or do something on your own and just learn more about your gut with our free guide. So let's jump back into our topic of today, which is walking.
Walking 30 minutes a day? 5 Health Benefits of Walking
And walking is so simple. All we need is a nice pair of shoes and we can get started. So today what I'm going to do is walk you, and that's no pun intended, through five easy ways that walking can benefit your health.
Walking can help stabilize our blood sugar
Number one on the list is walking can help stabilize our blood sugar. And I love this one because it's easy to do.
There was a study done a few years ago that showed that taking a 15-minute walk after breakfast, lunch, and dinner actually had more effect on your blood sugar than taking a 45-minute walk all at one time.
So easy things to add in after you have your breakfast in the morning, take a quick 15-minute walk after you have your lunch, you need to get up from the office desk. Anyway, take a little 15 minutes John, and the same thing after dinner, especially when spring comes around and the trees are gonna be blooming.
It's gonna be fun to finally be outside after all this stinking snow we've had. And taking that little 15-minute walk will help stabilize your blood sugars throughout the evening and into the next day.
So I love that one, and I try to do that. It's so fun, it's easy, and it gives me a reason to always keep walking.
Walking can help ease the pain
So number two on our list is that walking can help ease the pain. And that's sometimes not what we think of. We think, oh, my knees hurt, I don't wanna go for a walk.
But what actually happens is if you take the time to do some walking, the walking can help lubricate the joints and also strengthen the muscles around your knees and your hips. So you're strengthening yourself, you're staying stronger to help ease that pain.
And research has shown that walking has actually reduced arthritic pain. So you're thinking, how much do I have to walk to help myself reduce pain? And they say about five to six miles a week. So that maybe be one mile a day for six days or however it works out for you.
But I think the point to hear, to remember is that even though you have a little bit of joint pain, do it anyway. As long as you're not hurting yourself, obviously. But get out there, get your joints stronger, and keep them lubricated.
This is gonna help to extend your health and keep you happier because walking is so great for our mind as well.
Walking can help boost your immune function, and it helps to reduce the possibility of contracting a cold or a flu virus.
Number three on our list is walking can help boost your immune function, and it helps to reduce the possibility of contracting a cold or a flu virus.
There was actually a study done about a year ago that covered a thousand people and showed that people who's walking 30 minutes a day to 45 minutes at a pretty moderate pace reduced their risk of getting the flu or a virus or a cold.
Through this cold and wintery season that we've had, we've had to stay on top of our immune system. And walking is a simple, easy one to do, and you might think, well, where am I gonna do that when it's snowing every other day?
But you can, if you have a treadmill, you can easily walk on that treadmill for 30 or 45 minutes, maybe if there's a gym around you, you could look into doing something like that and using that treadmill.
Or there are lots of malls and community centers around the area too, where you can get that 30-minute or 45-minute, walk-in each day. So you can think about it as helping to boost your immune system as we are, as we have been kind of stuck indoors for several months now.
And, and get you ready for the spring season. That's ahead.
Walking actually helps to boost your energy
And number four on our list is walking actually helps to boost your energy. Now you're thinking what, because sometimes I'm too tired to even think about walking at the end of the day, or I don't wanna get up early and do a walk.
But research has shown that walking can actually increase your energy more than even a cup of coffee. So as the days have gotten longer in the last few weeks, getting up a little bit earlier is easier.
And getting outside doing that 30 or 45-minute walk is gonna really boost your energy for the rest of the day, or even at lunchtime or of course in the evening. Getting out there, moving your body, and helping to boost that energy so that you have a restful sleep.
And the way that walking actually increases our energy when, as I've been talking about, is that it increases our hormones that boost our energy. So things like cortisol and our epinephrine and norepinephrine.
So they give us that extra little zing and we have more energy to do the things that we wanna do for the rest of the day or evening.
Walking can help improve our mood
So number five on the list is that walking can help improve our mood. Walking has been shown in research to help reduce anxiety and depression and actually boost our self-esteem and reduce our social withdrawal.
So getting out there, getting some fresh air, and maybe it's not even fresh air right now, because like I've said several times, it's been quite cold and snowy out to get out there. But if you want to, even indoors is going to give you that extra good mood and reduce even just negative moods in general.
So if you've had a tough day and you just need to blow off some steam, you know, walking is such a great way to do that. I love walking. Can you tell? I do it every single day. It's something that I've incorporated into my afternoons, whether it's raining, snowing, or sleeting, I don't care.
I'm out there. And because it really helps me download and it improves my mood and gives me just a little bit more clarity, it's kind of my time. And so I, I love the way that I feel after I'm done with it. And so
I encourage you to take steps to work toward that 30-minute, walk or even 45 minutes, you know, your, uh, where you need to start. If you need to start slower, even starting after those meals, 10 or 15 minutes to help balance that blood sugar after you eat.
That's a great way to kind of ease into walking. And once you've set your pace and you realize that you're feeling stronger in, your joints are feeling better and your uh, muscles are stronger, then you can go longer. And you know, sometimes I've taken six-mile walks.
Now that's not every afternoon of course, but on the days when it's beautiful out and I have the time to do it, I'm out there. It's amazing. I love it. It's been great for my mental health as well as my immune system and has kept me strong.
So here's to walking in the springtime, get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather that's coming!
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