When it comes to exercises that calm the mind, body, and soul, most people do not think of walking as an option. Yet, walking for just 15 to 30 minutes a day is one of the best ways to reduce excess body fat, increase muscle power and endurance, increase cardiovascular health and strengthen the bones. It’s also one of the best ways to free the mind of daily stressors and to “reset,” so to speak. Studies show that individuals who incorporate a walking routine into their daily lives have a lower risk of developing conditions such as type two diabetes, heart disease and many forms of cancer. Also, unlike many other forms of fitness, walking is free.
Residents and guests of Amrit enjoy walking on the pristine beaches of Palm Beach, but you don’t have to head to Palm Beach to reap the rewards of a brief stroll. Head to your local park, go down to the beach, or take a stroll through your neighborhood. Read on to learn why you should start walking today.
Boost Your Happiness Levels
Whether you’re just having a bad day or you live with a mild to moderate case of depression, walking for just 15 minutes can instantly boost your mood, especially when you take a walk outdoors. In fact, one study finds that individuals who live with depression show more improvement in their symptoms than when they are on medications. A follow-up study revealed that 60 to 70 percent of study subjects who continued to walk daily could no longer be classified as depressed.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
If you’re like most working individuals today, you often feel as if you’re drowning in stress. Stress may be a normal part of your life, but it’s not a healthy part. Medical professionals across all fields and countless studies agree that stress can have devastating consequences on your health and can cause issues such as cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. For these reasons and countless others, it’s imperative to do what you can to get your stress under control.
Walking is easy, free, and one of the most effective ways to calm down. Why? Because walking clears cortisol, otherwise known as the “stress hormone.” It also clears the mind of the endless loop of stressful thoughts you undoubtedly think of on a daily basis. So, if you feel as if the weight of the world rests on your shoulders, take a walk.
Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
Everyone from artists, teachers, mothers, to bookkeepers can benefit from a little creativity. If you feel as if you’re stuck in a rut, like you can’t come up with any good ideas or just flat out uninspired, go take a stroll. Walking improves both convergent and divergent thinking, two types of thinking associated with heightened creativity.
Put a Stop to Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome occurs when a person’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels rise, blood sugar increases, and fat builds up around the waist. Sadly, this condition is common in today’s increasingly sedentary world. Not only is this condition worse for your health — it can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and early death — but also, it’s bad for your self-esteem and mental wellbeing. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to stop the worsening of this condition and even possibly reverse it: walking.
If this condition has already begun to develop, you may need to do more than take a leisurely stroll. Studies suggest that by alternating your pace between fast and slow, you can rev your metabolism and reverse the damage.
Increase Your Brain Power
Walking isn’t just good for your body — apparently, it’s great for your brain, too. A comprehensive study on the link between walking and brain capacity revealed that the simple exercise benefits all aspects of the mind, from cognition to memory and from learning to reading. Like a muscle that is regularly worked, your brain will even grow in size from daily walking. As if all those benefits aren’t enough, walking can lessen your risk of developing cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Relive Chronic Pain
It is estimated that as many as 100 million Americans live with chronic pain, making pain a silent epidemic. If you’re one of those Americans, you may will the pain to go away on its own so you don’t have to resort to pain medications. Unfortunately, willing your pain away won’t work. Fortunately, you don’t need pain meds, either. Researchers have found that moderate walking can provide short- and long-term pain relief, even though it doesn’t cure the underlying condition. So, even if you feel as if you’re in too much pain to get up and move, know that if you can muster the energy to go on a relaxing stroll, you’ll feel significantly better.
Add Seven Years to Your Life
All these health benefits of walking can only mean one thing: you’ll live longer. It’s true! Research reveals that walking can add as much as seven years to your life. Another study even suggests that those years will be happy ones, as individuals who walk daily are happier and more enthusiastic about life.
You can walk anywhere and reap the benefits of the exercise, but if you can walk in a setting as beautiful as Palm Beach, why not do it? Book a trip to Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences to get an idea of what true wellness is really like.