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If you are someone that does not enjoy exercising but still seeks the health benefits that cardio provides, walking may be the solution for you. Since walking is a low-intensity workout, many people assume that they will not achieve the same health benefits as a more intense workout. Fortunately, that is not true. Countless studies have proven that the simple act of walking not only improves your health but also reduces stress and betters your mood. Learn the benefits of how walking daily can be the ultimate solution to a healthy lifestyle.
1. Helps Prevent Weight Gain
Walking helps you build lean muscle, lose fat, and boost your metabolism. The faster your pace and the longer you do it, the more calories you will burn. However, this does not mean you can eat whatever you want. In order to lose or maintain weight, make sure to keep a healthy diet as well.
2. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Walking outside in the sun for at least 15 minutes a day gives your body the sufficient vitamin D it needs. With higher vitamin D levels, studies have found that people have longer telomeres (the DNA on the end of cells that gets smaller each time a cell divides). An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14 percent lower risk of getting breast cancer.
3. Boosts the Immune System
Taking a moderately paced walk between 30-45 minutes every day increases the immune system cells that are present in the body. In a study conducted by Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, researchers found that the participants’ immunity booster levels remained active for several hours after exercising and it had a cumulative effect in protecting against illness over time.
4. Relieves Stress and Improves Mood
Exercise, even walking at a moderate pace, releases endorphins in the body. If you also choose to walk outdoors, spending time in the fresh air surrounded by nature can help alleviate stress and boost your energy levels.
5. Sharpens Brain Function
Aerobic exercise improves brain health and thought processes, as indicated in several studies. One study found that doing exercise before taking a test helped improve reaction times in young adults and overall performance on standardized tests. Cognitive function among seniors was also markedly improved. Additionally, walking can improve memory function.
6. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Walking at a moderate pace helps maintain a steady blood sugar level if you have type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it cuts diabetes risk for overweight and non-overweight men and women.