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The Many Health Benefits of Walking

Dreading your next run? Time for a change up.

When everything in our lives came to a big halt, so did our regular mode of movement. Gyms are closed and we don't all have the required space to workout from our living rooms. Right? Though our routines are in a flux, there is a simple and relieving solution: just walk.

You can get your fill of Vitamin D, fresh air, exercise and stress relief. All boxes checked. It’s low impact, free, and needs no equipment besides a comfortable pair of shoes (we suggest Allbirds). 

Physical Health

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According to Harvard Health Publishing, walking boosts immune function, reduces joint pain and counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Walking after a meal is also the one exercise that most experts approve as it promotes digestion. Walking is also linked to better sleep and good sleep is linked to longevity (and great skin, if you need extra convincing).

Mental Health

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has linked walking to creative thinking. So if you feel as if you can’t get a walk in because you need to get work done, consider it part of your work day as a brainstorming session. Need a mental break? Some meditation teachers consider walking meditative and a great alternative for those who struggle with silent meditation. Find out more here

How much should we be walking?

If you can get 10,000 steps in a day (roughly five miles) that is ideal. Most smartphones have step counters built in. If you opt to leave your phone at home while you walk, try to get in at least half an hour. But don’t stress about minutes or steps. Walk for your own reasons, at your own pace, and enjoy.

At the end of the day, given all that’s happening, this is a time for a more gentle approach. We should throw away any thoughts of an overly rigid routine. Swapping out our at-home HIIT training for a walk in the park may be just the move.