Mental Health Month Tips: 7 Major Benefits of Walking
To stay healthy, experts say that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. That means you should be aiming to log about 30 minutes a day five days a week.
The good news? You don’t need to be hitting the gym or any other crazy sweat session to meet that mark. Even brisk walking counts. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to check out that local trail, meet up with a friend for a chat, or explore your neighborhood, this is it. Lace up those comfy shoes and head out.
What walking can do
Walking doesn’t just help you get the recommended amount of activity and fend off the downsides of a sedentary lifestyle. It can help you:
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight
- Build stronger bones and muscles
- Reduce stress
- Boost your mood
- Reduce your risk for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer
- Get better sleep
- Have more energy
Beyond that, studies have demonstrated that walking can help you make healthier food choices, live with less joint pain, and have a healthier immune system.
Finding easy ways to take care of yourself
Clearly, walking can offer a lot of physical health benefits. But we’ve only scratched the surface of what it can do for your mental wellness. And since it’s Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d be remiss if we didn’t take a closer look here.
The American Psychological Association specifically recommends walking to help defend against depression, lowering your risk for this condition by nearly 20%. They also said that one in nine cases of depression could potentially have been prevented if that person had hit the 150-minute-per-week activity mark with walking or another type of exercise.
In fact, a recent study showed that just ten minutes of walking could be enough to turn your mood around.
All told, if you’re looking for a way to feel better — both physically and mentally — walking gives you an accessible, affordable, beginner-friendly option. So when you’re having a bad day or looking to take care of your health, head out.
Want another easy way to have a self-care moment? Pop some Doughp on the counter before you go out for your walk. By the time you get back, it will be spoon soft.