Surprising Benefits of Walking for Mental and Physical Health

morning walk

“Morning Walk” by /\ltus is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One important but often overlooked aspect of a healthy lifestyle and even injury rehabilitation is walking. Walking is a simple way to improve physical fitness and health while reducing the risk of various diseases.

The Benefits of Walking

Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Although walking is often overlooked, science shows that putting one foot in front of the other can have some impressive mental and physical benefits.

  • It helps to maintain a healthy weight and trim body fat.
  • Increases energy levels and improves mood, memory, and sleep.
  • Reduces stress and tension in the body.
  • It eases joint pain and boosts immune system function.
  • Improves cardiovascular health and muscle endurance.
  • Reduced risk of common health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

You may be asking yourself, “That sounds great, but how much should I be walking to reap all these benefits?”

How Many Steps Should You Get Per Day?

Walking is one of the best low-impact forms of exercise that can be done on a lunch break, while talking on the phone, or to get to your favorite coffee shop down the street.

Although the exact number of steps per day can vary based on age, health, and fitness goals, most experts recommend at least 10,000 steps per day. As a general rule of thumb, the faster, farther, and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefit you’ll experience.

By completing 10,000 steps per day, most adults can burn an extra 2,000–3,500 calories while also reaping the incredible benefits of additional cardiovascular exercise.

Not only is walking a great time to disconnect and unwind, but it will also improve your mental and physical health. 10,000 steps per day is a great goal for anyone looking to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. However, if you want a more personalized approach, a physical therapist from our clinic in Bethesda can help!

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