Get Off Your Butt!
In today’s world of sit-down jobs, many of us find that most of our days are spent on our butts in front of a computer screen or the TV. If you sit for more than 6 hours a day, your risk of heart disease jumps by a whopping 64 percent!
In addition, there are a ton of other health detriments that result from sitting for long periods of time. That means if you have a desk job, you’re already at a disadvantage and you need to amp up the time not at work by staying active. Once of the best ways to stay active is to walk every chance you get.
Walking Helps Maintain a Healthy Weight
If you want to be able control your weight, walking regularly (and we mean every single day) can be an important part of your program. It’s low impact, requires no special equipment, easy on the joints, and doesn’t cause too much of a sweat which is great if you do it during your lunch breaks at work and don’t want to come back stinking out your office mates!
Walking Helps Clear Your Mind
Like any form of exercise, walking helps you disconnect from stress and clear out some of the negative thoughts. The feel-good endorphins that accompany exercise alleviate anxiety and can assist in achieving mental clarity and boosting your overall mood.
Some studies have shown that even a short brisk walk can be as effective as anti-depressant medication for treating mild depression and even help prevent dementia. While walking may not be the only activity to turn to when you’re feeling sad, it’s a good place to start.
Boost Vitamin D
Most Americans are chronically deficient in Vitamin D. This vitamin is incredibly important for maintaining bone health keeping the immune system functioning properly. Without Vitamin D, all that calcium you eat never makes it to your bones.
Although walking and other exercises don’t directly increase your Vitamin D levels, being outside does and what better reason to be outside than going for a walk?
Increase Bone Density & Bone Health
Although not an impact exercise like running or high-intensity training, walking does its share of helping to keep bones strong and healthy because you are making your bones and muscles work against gravity. Combined with the extra Vitamin D you get from being outside, the extra activity for you bones really stimulates them to keep strong.
Tone Up Your Legs, Butt, & Tummy
The 3 areas of your body that give you the most sexy shape all get a workout by simply walking. Your legs, your core (front and back), and your butt. All of those muscle groups are in play during a walk.
Hitting some hills or stairs can really intensify the effect. I have some areas in my neighborhood where there are stairs built into the hills and I also head straight for them because of the burn you get with a simple walk.
We all know that regular exercise helps prevent disease, but sometimes we need reminders. You’re about 60% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes by walking every day. You’re also less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, which in turn causes hardening of the arteries and increases your risk of stroke.
By avoiding these diseases, not only do you prolong your life, but you also save money on medical expenses associated with treatment.
Walking Gives You More Energy
Like other forms of exercise, your body becomes more efficient at storing energy and releasing it when needed. By walking regularly, you’ll find out that when you need to call on your energy reserves to do other daily tasks, your body will respond much quicker.
Having more energy will help you be more productive in other areas of your life and increase your self esteem.
It Builds on Itself
Many of the benefits of walking and exercise in general build on themselves. Having more energy which allows you to exercise more can drive you to become better and better each day.
Even in your professional life, the energy gain from exercising increases your productivity and creativity at work making you more likely to get that promotion. The top CEOs of big companies work out every day to keep their brains and bodies sharp.
Want a quick key to doing well in life? Look at successful people and do what they do.
Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He's also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover band, Liquifaction.