While we all know that we should walk more, there are now even more reasons to do so. In a study published one year ago in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/2047487316655466 low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates. In other words, if you don’t walk, you will die. Of course, this study was conducted on middle aged men, however, as with other studies, one can assume that it will hold true for women as well, since other scientific studies do show corresponding factors for women. To back this assumption, there is another study http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288042.php completed with 340,000 male and female participants showing that 20 minutes of brisk walking per day was enough to decrease the chance of early death by 16% to 30%.
However, there are benefits other than fitness and lower early mortality rates to consider when a person walks. For one thing, anyone can go take a walk. We don’t need fancy shoes, we can walk no matter what our fitness level is, and we can control how long and how difficult our walk is. Just the very fact of getting outside does wonders for our mental health. We can get some sun (not too much), breathe fresh air, and enjoy nature. All these factors are a mental health boost. Not only that, walking in our neighborhoods gives us a chance to interact with our neighbors, boosting our sense of community.
I go for a daily walk, and I find that it really helps me to be outside and getting some much needed exercise. I love the boost walking gives me, and of course being in nature is so important to my own mental health. Do you go for a daily walk? Where are your favorite walks? Do you prefer your own neighborhood or do you go to a park or a walking trail? Have you felt the benefits of walking in your own life? Let me know in the comments below.