Nature lovers will be pleased to know that walking outdoors can have a positive effect on one’s mental health; believe it or not, physical exercise does have an effect on the brain, memory, and it’s cognitive powers. This is because a nature walk has the added advantage of being able to prevent the stress brought on by electronics, ultimately leading to less depression, and therefore, and overall higher mood. But that’s not all that nature has to offer. In fact, if you get your outdoor exercise in during the daytime, the sun’s rays can fortify your body with Vitamin D.
The acquisition of Vitamin D from the sun is important because, apart from a few select foods, namely dairy products, very little foods in the human diet include Vitamin D. As you can imagine, most people simply don’t get enough of it in their diet, which leads to a need for supplements to combat deficiencies. However, even if you decide to skip that outdoor exercise, you’re not missing out on everything. Walking, in general, can provide these benefits; a natural outdoor environment is slightly better than 45 minutes on a treadmill, but the latter still leads to increased mental activity.
Those with exercise experience will note that too much of anything is a bad thing- that overworking your muscles can cause significant damage to the body, setting progress back by weeks. However, moderate levels of exercise contribute to a stronger body overall. This means that regular exercise performed correctly and without too much strain can lead to a reduced risk of injury. Walking is one of the easiest and safest ways to get there by strengthening your joints, bones and connective tissue via the increased nutrients of aerobic stimulation. Walking provides other benefits to the body as well, for example:
The chances of developing hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stroke are lessened by regular walking, according to the American Heart Association. In general, 30 minutes of exercise, for a total weekly of 150 minutes of exercise, is the minimum goal to shoot for. This allows the body to reap the full reward of regular exercise but also avoids overtaxing the body, which could lead to injury. If it sounds like a lot to swallow, don’t panic- you don’t need to complete the exercise all in one sitting. As long as it all gets done, you’ll benefit appropriately from your efforts.
Speaking of effort, regular walks as exercise can also contribute to health by helping a person obtain a higher quality of rest and recovery at night. According to The Sleep Foundation, even a moderate level of aerobic exercise, such as walking, can make it much easier for people to fall asleep, as well as improve the quality and duration of said sleep for those who suffer from insomnia. This comes as a significant advantage over those who did not exercise prior to attempting to sleep.Related: This Exercise Is the Closest Thing to a Miracle Drug That We Have
The results regarding the link between walking and health, cardiovascular and otherwise, are not limited. Over 11 years, an analysis of studies from seven different countries identifies that walking can reduce the risk of mortality up to 32%. It may surprise you to know that what qualifies as regular exercise is quite easy to perform. Just 6 miles or so at 2 mph on a weekly basis will help you protect your body from any number of serious, often chronic diseases. Most individuals walk faster; spreading that six miles over the week also amounts to under one mile a day.
Walking is the workout that most people are capable of. It doesn’t require much in the way of equipment to do, it can be done just about anywhere, and it’s something we’re already doing every day, at least a little. All in all, it shouldn’t be too hard to amp it up a bit and reap the full benefits of exercise from walking more regularly. While it is true that not all of us are capable of more strenuous exercise, such workouts are not necessary for good health. Walking regularly and effectively can also make that happen.