FOR PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
As featured in the Nspire Magazine Summer/Fall 2016 Coeur d’Alene Edition
By: Diana Okon/Photography by: Joel Riner
The benefits of walking have been given much attention in recent years, due to the fact so many of us sit too many hours in a day. Just 20-30 minutes of walking per day can improve your quality of life both physically and psychologically. There’s more good news: walking is free and convenient.
>> Psychological benefits
Walking improves your cardiovascular system, therefore aiding in better circulation, lowering blood pressure and strengthening the heart. It can lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes by improving blood glucose control. Also, walking daily has been known to improve joint function, muscle strength and bone density. The reduction of bone loss can be extremely important in avoiding osteoarthritis and osteopenia, especially for the aging population. Walking regularly can aide in weight loss as well, burning an estimated 70-150 calories per mile walked, depending on the person’s weight, exertion level or speed and any elevation changes.
>> Physical benefits
Walking reduces stress levels allowing for clear thinking and a boost in the creative thought processes. A reduction in stress may aide in a better night’s sleep. And who couldn’t use better sleep? Walking has also been known to increase energy and decrease depression. It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and increases ones balance, which reduces the risk of falling. You might even make a few new friends as you travel by foot.
If you are looking to improve your physical and mental health, start walking! You are never too young or too old to get out and enjoy the beautiful area we live in by taking a nice walk.