In these times when we are forced to stay at home more, we move less than is actually good for us. We sit for long periods of time, often in front of a screen, we see our friends and family less and cannot go on holiday. This brings all kinds of risks for the body and mind. That’s why it is a good idea to go for a walk regularly. In addition to the necessary exercise, it provides many other benefits so we have listed 10 reasons to walk (more).
10 Reasons to walk (more)
1. Enjoy nature in your area
During a walk in nature, you can really see how beautiful your country is. Every area has its own peculiarities. In addition, nature is different every season so a walk through one of the many beautiful nature reserves is never boring!
Even now that we have to stick to the coronavirus measures, there are still plenty of beautiful walks to go on. We have prepared a handy overview of coronavirus-proof walks in various regions.
2. Walking is healthy for your body
Numerous studies show that walking is really good for your body. Your muscle strength increases, bones and cartilage become stronger. Especially now that we are getting older, we notice that the suppleness of our body is waning. Walking helps to build up the cartilage and therefore keep us moving more smoothly.
Walking for at least half an hour every day lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Walking reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Regular walking reduces the risk of obesity, with all its benefits. Daily walking improves your metabolism. This reduces the risk of intestinal blockages. So, let’s continue to enjoy all the health benefits of walking.
3. Walking is healthy for your mind
However, not only are the benefits to your body great. Walking also makes us feel happier. Walking helps the brain to produce serotonin. This is called the “happiness hormone” for a reason.
In addition, walking reduces stress levels. You feel more relaxed after a walk. And, not unimportantly: by walking you can keep your brain active. This reduces the risk of dementia in later life.
4. Walking can be done anywhere and anytime
Walking is very easy. You don’t have to have a subscription to a club and you’re not stuck to predetermined times. If you feel like walking, just go. Close the door behind you and take the first steps. That can just be a block through your neighbourhood. If you live near a beautiful nature reserve, the temptation is even greater to put your walking shoes on regularly. What’s more, you can walk at any temperature in any season.
5. Walking is cheap
Walking is probably the cheapest sport we can do as a lot of expensive equipment, clothing or an expensive membership to a sports club is not needed. There are two things you shouldn’t cut back on if you want to go walking more. For example, good walking shoes are essential. It is additionally wise to wear good walking socks. These increase your comfort enormously on walks. To make your choice easier, we have picked the right shoes and socks for you:
6. Walking is fun
It is super fun to go for a nice walk with some people. During our tours, we discuss so many different topics that we almost run out of time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. For us, a walk is the perfect time to really talk to each other. It is a lot of fun and also gives you new perspectives.
7. Walking makes you more creative
The well-known neuropsychologist Erik Scherder states in his article that walking makes people more creative. According to Scherder, the cognitive brain is burdened throughout the day: there are hardly any moments of rest because our work and our smartphones demand a lot of attention. When walking you literally let go of that pressure. This makes us daydream and be creative again. After a walk, you often suddenly have the solution to a problem you’ve been struggling with for days. As the brain relaxes, the ‘default mode network’ activates. Although you are no longer consciously working on the problem, your brain works in the background to find a solution.
8. Walking stimulates your senses
We have noticed that during our weekly long walks we see and hear more and more things. The sounds of the whistling birds are becoming more and more noticeable and we slowly start to recognise some species. Besides that, we have an ever-better eye for the small details. Special plant species, a beautiful flower or a special bird on a branch. Walking really stimulates the senses. You become more aware of the beautiful surroundings you’re walking in.
9. Walking does not cause many injuries
A walk doesn’t stress our muscles in an extreme way. In addition, walking is much less of a jerky movement than, for example, running. Our joints therefore suffer less from every step we take, in contrast to jogging. That’s why the risk of injury when walking is not high.
Nevertheless, it is wise to start walking in small doses if you have not done it so much and so often before. We’ll give a few more practical tips on this later in the blog.
10. Walking is good for your mood
Walking makes people happy. By enjoying nature, not having to worry for a moment and being on the move, we become cheerful as we pointed out before. With the production of the happiness hormone serotonin, our brains make us happier. That is a responsible and cheap way to be happy in life!
So, put on your walking shoes
With these 10 reasons to walk (more), we have hopefully convinced you. You will undoubtedly notice that there are a lot of positive effects for you too. But it is wise not to overdo it too fast. If you don’t have much walking experience yet, it’s better not to start with a 20-kilometre hike right away. It’s guaranteed that after that you just would not feel like going for another walk. That’s why our advice is to:
- Build up your walking condition in small doses.
- Be aware of the correct walking posture and technique.
- Walk regularly. Walking once a week is good, walking a few days a week is even better.
- Notice that over time your condition improves and you feel fitter.
- Keep at it and notice that you feel like walking more and more.