Since the beginning of human existence, walking has been THE most important tool for our survival. Our ancestors did not have super intelligence, speed, agility, super strength or really any of the common attributes that the modern day apex predator possesses.
If that’s true, then how did we not only survive, but place ourselves at the top of the food chain? We walked.
To hunt food, our ancestors didn’t have the speed to chase down a deer or the brute strength to fight the animal. They, instead, walked after their prey. Our ancestors would walk and chase down their prey for miles at a time, even for days, until the animal eventually gave up from exhaustion and turned into a helpless target for our ancestors to move in for the kill.
Not only did our ancestors walk to hunt, they walked to scavenge, to find new homes and to scout for new territories. Walking is about as natural and as human as it gets.
In this article, I will be explaining the health benefits of walking daily and giving you every reason as to why you should be moving your feet in your spare time.
Why You May Not Be Walking Enough
Sadly in today’s society, the average adult spends the majority of their day sitting. With the emergence of technology, sitting at a computer all day for work or spending their leisure time in front of a TV has made sitting for extended periods of time very common.
The worst part is, after a long 8-hour work day, the last thing most people want to do is exercise and get on their feet. They want to sit right back down, turn the TV on and shut their mind off to the world.
This dilemma affects millions of people around the world and that is why walking can be so beneficial to not only our health but our lifestyles. It is the easiest way to get up and get active.
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Walking is VERY Convenient
Even if you do have to sit at a desk all day, you still walk to go to the bathroom, walk to get food and walk to perform various tasks. Walking is inevitable.
Walking here and there, however, won’t give you much benefit.
Walking is convenient because you don’t need anything but space to walk in. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment, all you need is access to the outdoors and you can get a good workout in.
If, for some reason, you don’t have access to the outside or it’s a rainy day, you can invest in a treadmill. I personally would rather walk outdoors but everyone has their own preferences. Depending on your lifestyle, a treadmill could be more convenient and less time-consuming.
Walking also allows you to be able to workout with a partner or even a group of people. Unlike jogging and running where you are out of breath most of the time, walking permits you to be able to carry on a conversation throughout the duration of your workout. Walking with others not only makes it more enjoyable but it also helps to pass the time MUCH faster!
Health Benefits of Walking
- Improving Blood Flow and Circulation: Walking is great because it doesn’t require great effort or ramping your heart rate up through the roof like running and jogging does. Walking allows you to raise your heart rate just enough to improve blood flow and circulation throughout your body. Walking has been proven to help lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart and fend off various cardiovascular diseases that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
- Weight Loss Potential: Walking is by far one of the most enjoyable and effortless workouts you can perform. Walking is unique because it is a form of cardio that won’t make you exhausted or feeling like you can eat a whole horse when you’re finished. It is great for weight loss and people on a diet because it won’t create temptations to eat more or over indulge, walking’s mild effort helps you stick to your diet plan while burning off some extra calories.
- Maintaining Muscle: Similar to weight loss, walking is extremely beneficial for those who want to perform cardio without risking muscle gains. A lot of intense cardio exercises can hinder muscle growth and use up a lot of the calories needed to build muscle. Running and jogging are physically taxing on your body and can take days to recover, effecting your weight lifting performance. Walking, on the other hand, can be done every day with little to no need for much recovery time.
- Improving Mood: Not only does walking boast an abundance of physical benefits, but it is also great for your mental health and mood. Whether you are walking on a treadmill or in the great outdoors, walking’s ability to raise your heart rate just a bit has been proven to be able to help relieve anxiety symptoms and lower stress levels. If you choose to walk outside, I find that being immersed in nature gives me a feeling of tranquility and peace more so than a treadmill does, especially on early morning or evening walks when everything is quieter. Being surrounded by nature is a natural stress reliever in itself.
How to Make Time for Walking
Like I said earlier, walking is great because you can do it anytime and anywhere. As long as you walk for about 30 minutes daily, you should be able to realize most of the health benefits listed above. If, for some reason, you don’t think you have time to walk, you are sadly mistaken.
Even the busiest people on this planet make time for their physical health. Whether it means buying a treadmill, waking up earlier or cutting out a few unneeded habits, walking should be a staple in your daily routine. This is especially true for those who don’t workout at all, the least you can do is move your feet for 30 minutes. This will not only improve your health, but it will help you be more productive and focused throughout the rest of your day.
In conclusion, walking has been an important part of human life since our existence on earth. Our ancestors used to walk miles on end everyday just to survive.
As time went on and technology advanced, however, humans became increasingly more lazy and more sedentary than ever before. Technology is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons for the mass amounts of obesity and health issues in our society today.
A lot of people either don’t want to put in the effort to workout or don’t have the money for a gym membership. Which is why the simple act of walking can be so beneficial to anyone’s daily routine. Walking can be performed effortlessly and with little time needed. It can provide a healthy heart, effortless weight loss, muscle retention, and an overall mood boost.
So, what are you waiting for, start your journey into good health today and buy a treadmill or get outside and start walking!
If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the importance of walking!