4 Surprising Benefits of Walking

4 Surprising Benefits of Walking

As modern society becomes more technologically advanced, it is the simple, healthy things in life that seem to suffer. From mom-n-pop stores being pushed aside by online shopping conglomerates to streaming entertainment mesmerizing viewers, both are examples of keeping us on our couch. It is a world that seems to have forgotten how easy it is to maintain our health beyond all the hype of electronically enhanced gym equipment or the next newfangled food diet. It turns out that if you want to do something simple for your health, all you need to do is walk.

If joining a gym or going jogging is something that makes you wince, these 4 surprising benefits of walking should be all you need. So, put down that high sugar, high fat snack and easily get your health back on track. 

Tamp Down Weight Gain Genes

More and more doctors are encouraging their overweight patients to walk. Many overweight people avoid gyms for fear of judgment, exercise inexperience, or perceived pain from over exertion. Walking could be the answer.

Genetic predisposition for a heavier body mass is something that cannot be changed but it can be managed. Following a mostly, if not all, plant-based diet along with exercise can be essential for maintaining healthy weight. However, the exercise part might be confusing to some especially those that experience little to no weight loss after strenuous workouts. Turns out that walking is all you may need, especially instead of watching television. 

According to Science Daily, a study by the American Heart Association of 7,740 women and 4,564 men reported, 

“In our study, a brisk one-hour daily walk reduced the genetic influence towards obesity, measured by differences in BMI by half. On the other hand, a sedentary lifestyle marked by watching television four hours a day increased the genetic influence by 50 percent.”

Don’t turn your fat genes on, instead, go for a good long walk. 

Stoke Your Passion

Creativity is the fuel that can keep you young. Yet, sometimes as life turns its screws into you, it can be hard to get that fire burning again. Whether you need a new idea to impress your boss, really want to start putting together miniature battleships, or write the next great American novel, think it over while taking a walk.

Stanford University researchers found that, 

“Walking substantially enhanced creativity by two different measures. For the three alternate uses studies, 81%, 88%, and 100% of participants were more creative walking than sitting. For the BSE, 100% of those who walked outside generated at least one novel [new] high-quality analogy compared with 50% of those seated inside. Walking worked indoors on a treadmill and outdoors at a bustling university.”

Calm the Crave

Going for a walk after a meal cannot only help digestion, it just may help you lay off the weight gaining sweets. A small study of seventy-eight people who were daily chocolate eaters showed a significant change in craving sweets after a walk. 

Published in the journal Appetite, the study stated that after a short walk prior to working at a desk, 

“Those who had exercised before working consumed on average half the amount of chocolate as the others: around 15 grammes, compared with 28 grammes. 15 grammes is equivalent to a small ‘treat size’ or ‘fun size’ chocolate bar.”

Professor Adrian Taylor of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Exeter and lead researcher of the study commented,

“We know that snacking on high calorie foods, like chocolate, at work can become a mindless habit and can lead to weight gain over time. We often feel that these snacks give us an energy boost, or help us deal with the stress of our jobs, including boredom. People often find it difficult to cut down on their daily treats but this study shows that by taking a short walk, they are able to regulate their intake by half.”

Oils the Hinges

Some people may tell you that they don’t walk because it hurts their joints. Well, it seems that it just may be the other way around. Keeping your joints moving can trigger a long list of beneficial reactions. 

According to Harvard Medical School, 

“Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.”

Give yourself a prescription to move and take advantage of these 4 surprising benefits of walking. Don’t make excuses about your surroundings, the poor weather, or how you need to drive the car when all you need to do is walk.