Keep Your Summer Health Kick Simple - The Surprising Benefits of Walking


Dr. Michela Sorensen

The warmer weather always seems to put a bit more of a spring in people’s step. It often also heralds the start of a lot of people’s “summer health kick”. The good news is, with the cost of most things in life going through the roof right now, your exercise routine doesn’t have to break the budget. In fact, one of the best forms of exercise is completely free.  


We have known for a long time that walking is good for us.  

In fact, entire industries are built around it – I know I’m guilty of walking up and down the stairs a few times before bed to get that step count over 10,000!  

We know walking regularly promotes weight loss, improves heart health and is great for a quick mood boost. BUT, research shows that there are some hidden benefits of walking that a lot of people don’t know about.  

Here are 6 of the lesser known, but equally as important, health benefits of regular walking. 

๐Ÿญ/ It co๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜-๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€ 

Genetics is one thing we have little control over, particularly when it comes to weight. But studies have found that walking briskly for 45-60 minutes most days HALVES the effects of genes that contribute to weight gain. 

๐Ÿฎ/ ๐—œ๐˜ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฝ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜€๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต 

Find yourself craving a chocolate bar? Why not hit the pavement instead. Walking for just 15 minutes can curb cravings for chocolate and other sugary snacks. 

๐Ÿฏ/ ๐—œ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ 

We know any form of physical exercise can reduce the risk of breast cancer but research from the American Cancer Society found specifically, those who walked regularly (1 hour per day) had a 14% lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who didn’t.  

๐Ÿฐ/ ๐—œ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ท๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป 

When you’re in pain, often the last thing you feel like doing is walking. There is plenty of evidence however, that shows walking regularly actually reduces arthritis pain. It does this by lubricating joints, strengthening the muscles that support the joints and also managing weight to reduce the load on them.  

๐Ÿฑ/ ๐—œ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป.  

Yes, walking actually helps you fight off coughs and colds! Those who walked at least 20 minutes, 5 days per week had 43% fewer sick days than those who walked once per week or less.  

๐Ÿฒ/ ๐—”๐—ปd, ๐— ๐—ข๐—ฆ๐—ง ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜†, y๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ท๐—ผ๐˜† ๐—ฎ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ณ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐˜! 

Granted, I haven’t found any scientific paper that documents this as a medical benefit – but it has to be one, right? 

So before you go spending a fortune on the next exercise craze, why not think about keeping it simple. Walking, that little thing you have been doing since you were one year old, might actually be the way to go. The key is consistency. As with any form of exercise, the more you do it, the greater the benefits. As you have my permission to get a coffee along the way.   

Dr Michela Sorensen

Please note: Dr Michela's blogaura's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic, please consult your healthcare professional.

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