How a Daily 30 min Walk Can Boost Your Wellbeing
30 minutes isn’t a long time – most of us spend that much time on Facebook or Snapchat, just doing nothing anyway. There’s something really simple we can all do to give our energy levels and our overall physical and mental well being a much needed boost – walking! All you need is your body and some shoes and you’re good to go.
- Weight Loss + Stronger Muscles
Walking for 30 mins burns about 150 calories (it may be more depending on your weight), about that of a muffin. Regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin and boost your metabolism, which can help reduce belly fat. It also strengthens the muscles in your upper legs and calves – this is great especially if you’ve been sitting down for a while. When it comes to muscles, the saying goes: “use it or lose it”
- Improved mood
Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel calmer and happier. If you’re walking outside, being exposed to the sun helps to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (the winter blues) and may even help you sleep better at night by encouraging melatonin production.
- Healthy Digestion
After eating a heavy meal, don’t flop down on the couch in front of the TV. Two different studies have shown that a post-meal walk can aid in digestion. One study in 2008 showed that walking sped up the rate at which food moved through the stomach. Other studies have shown that walking also decreases blood sugar after meals, which decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A 30-minute walk will help clear that excess glucose and get things moving in the GI system.
- It’s Great for Varicose Veins
A 30 minute walk is the perfect exercise for people with varicose veins because it’s extremely low impact. It may also help to improve the appearance and pain of existing veins by increasing circulation in the legs.
Everyone should be getting outside at least once per day. A 30 minute walk is also a great chance to be social and catch up with friends and family – either on the phone or in person. Also, even if you do nothing else that’s productive that day, you can still feel a little better at the end of it 🙂