5 Surprising Reasons to Walk

No matter what exercise style is your favorite, it’s all beneficial to your overall health. But walking specifically comes with more benefits than most. Here are 5 surprising benefits of walking…

1. Reduces Sweet Tooth Cravings – Research shows that simply tying up your shoes and going for a walk can help tame sweet tooth cravings. And, a 15-minute walk can lower the amount of chocolate you eat when you find yourself stress-eating… we’ve all done it 😉

2. Counteracts the Impact of Weight-Promoting Genes – Researchers at Harvard analyzed 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 10,000 people, with the goal of discovering how much those genes mattered when it came to a person’s weight. They determined that when participants walked for about an hour a day, the impacts of those weight-promoting genes were reduced by approximately 50%.

3. Boosts Your Immune System – If you don’t want to get a cold or the flu (and who does) then walk, walk, walk! A study of over 1,000 people found that when participants walked at least 20 minutes a day, for 5 days (or more) a week, they had 43% fewer sick days than people who exercised 0-1 time a week. And, if they did start to feel under the weather, they were sick for a shorter period and experienced milder symptoms.

4. Lessens Your Risk of Developing Breast Cancer – It’s already a well-known fact that exercise of any kind reduces the risk of breast cancer. But, walking was particularly beneficial. Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that women had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer when they walked 7+ hours a week, compared to women who walked 0-3 hours a week. Even more surprising is that walking provided this protection even for the women who are at a higher risk of breast cancer, with risk factors such as using supplemental hormones or being overweight.

5. Relieves Joint Pain – Walking is a double-protection for your joints…especially your hips and knees… because it both strengthens the muscles that support them, and lubricates them. Research has found that walking helps ease arthritis-related pain, and walking 5-6 miles a week can help fend off arthritis from forming.