Walking offers numerous physical and mental health benefits, making it a great way to promote overall well-being!
Read on to learn more about the advantages of walking and the weekly target needed to achieve these benefits.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends:
- 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise each week – and yes, walking counts!
- For aerobic exercise, 30 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week is a great place to start.
- These 30 minutes can be broken up into shorter bouts throughout the day!
Top 4 benefits of walking:
- Mental health
Research has shown that patients who walked during cancer treatment experienced less emotional distress than those who were less active. Increased activity overall was also associated with less fatigue and more vigor.
Fun fact: Exercising in a green environment has been shown to further improve self-esteem and mood!
Nature walks have been shown to positively impact one’s strength, energy, confidence, self-esteem, fatigue, and stress.
Greater improvements were observed with increased intensities, longer durations, as well as the presence of water (like a lake or river, etc.).
- Insulin and blood sugar connection
Walking at a mild-moderate intensity for 60-minutes, 3 times per week, for 3 weeks has been shown to reduce blood pressure and glucose levels. Briskly walking for 30-minutes a day for 3 months has also been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose levels.
Daily active minutes have been shown to be positively related to sleep quality and duration – the greater the active minutes, the greater the sleep quality and duration. One study found walking to be even more effective than yoga at reducing sleep disturbance in breast cancer patients!
Walking 10,000 steps per day for 4 weeks, in people with and without prior exercise habits, was shown to significantly improve perceived sleep quality, sleep duration, and sleep latency (time it takes to fall asleep).
- Bone health
Walking has been shown to effectively increase bone mineral density while slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs and reducing fracture risk. Research examining lifelong walking habits has found that those who walk approximately 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) a day had higher whole-body bone density compared to those who walk shorter distances.
Easily accessible to most people, walking can be a great way to socialize, experience new environments, and spend some time in the beautiful outdoors!
Ready to get walking?
Join us for one of our in-person walking groups in Vancouver or Victoria!
We are looking forward to walking with you!
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