It’s widely recommended that you should aim for 10,000 steps a day, because walking and hiking have so many benefits for us . But you don’t have to hike up a mountain to get the full effect of walking – a daily lunchtime stroll will do you a world of good too. So, here are 10 benefits of getting your 10,000 steps a day:
- Keep fit and healthy
Walking is a physical activity that helps to keep us fit and healthy. A brisk walk is beneficial for our cardiovascular health and helps build and tone our muscles. It can boost our immunity, reduce the risk of several long-term health conditions and lower our blood sugar levels. It’s also a great activity for weight-loss, as walking burns lots of calories.
- Low impact exercise
If you have painful joint issues, certain exercises might not be suitable for you. But walking is a low impact activity that can be gentle on the joints and enjoyed by people of all ages. With the right equipment (a sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes), walking can be enjoyed without the worry that you’re doing further damage to your joints.
- Improve your mental wellbeing
It’s a well-known fact that physical activity is good for our mental wellbeing, and walking is no different. It really helps to boost your mood and has even been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. I believe its down to the winning combination of keeping fit and active, enjoying the great outdoors and getting a change of scene to keep your brain active too.
- Suitable for all ages
The great thing about walking is that it can be tailored to suit all ages and abilities. Children can join in and enjoy a stroll, while my 88 year old Grandad still gets out for a walk every day to visit the market and stretch his legs. But whether you’re able to do more or less, you can go as far as you want.
- Get some fresh air
There’s a lot to be said for fresh air and spending time in the great outdoors. It blows away the cobwebs and invigorates you, and we all need some time in the daylight to absorb some vitamin D. Whether you go for a lunchtime wander or a mountain hike, it’s proven to boost your energy levels and lift your mood.
- It’s a social activity
Walking is a fantastic group activity that attracts like-minded people and without distracting technology all around you, you can spend quality time together. If you walk alone, it’s likely you’ll bump into other walkers who are willing to stop for a chat. Or if you walk with a group, you can make new friends and chat as you go, and there are many walking groups to join all over the country.
- Feel good factor
I think walking really has that ‘feel good factor’ for all of the reasons discussed here. It boosts your mood thanks to the endorphins your body produces during exercise, it keeps you fit and healthy, and it gets you outdoors and achieving something. If you plan a weekend hike, it can be a free all-day activity with your friends and you can design and plan your walk to suit you.
- Up for a challenge?
Many people consider walking to be easy… but have you ever done a challenge walk? With long distances, multiple summits and tricky terrain, a challenge walk can really push you to your limits and to achieve something fantastic. Walking is suitable for beginners, but if you’re an intermediate or advanced walker, you’ll enjoy a bit of a challenge.
- Explore new places
The world is your oyster when it comes to walking. By foot, you can explore places that are not accessible by car, and you’ll find breath-taking views and hidden gems nestled all over the countryside. Alternatively, a city walking tour is a brilliant way to explore a new side to the city that you live in or a city that you’re visiting for a long weekend too.
- Boost your creativity
According to research, walking is great for boosting your creative thinking. Walking outdoors stimulates the brain as it’s an activity that allows the mind to wander, and this helps you generate new ideas. As a result, ‘walking meetings’ have become a popular option for encouraging innovation in business.