It’s over 2000 years since Hippocrates, history’s best-known physician, said that “walking is man’s best medicine.” The world has changed beyond recognition in the last two millennia, yet his advice is as true today as it was in ancient Greece. Despite this, many of us still don’t give walking the credit it’s due when it comes to personal fitness and well-being. So, to showcase the wonders of walking, here are five reasons why walking for just 20 more minutes a day will make you way happier and healthier.
1. Walking can help you live longer
Walking is a training regime in disguise. A walk stretches your muscles and can literally be your first step in getting your body moving towards an increasingly active lifestyle. By favouring stairs instead of elevators and escalators, you’ll raise your heart rate and consume energy. If you don’t do a lot of exercise, this difference between doing nothing and doing something really adds up. In fact, research presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress showed that people who did 20 minutes of brisk walking a day experienced anti-aging benefits that could add an additional three to seven years to their lives. Now, that’s got to be happy news.
How Sports Tracker can help: – Use counter to measure your pace
2. Walking relieves stress
Depending on your daily habitat, getting to see more or less of your surrounding may have value in itself. Whether you’re an urban dweller with access to a walkable neighbourhood or a suburbanite with a forest or a park nearby, walking will make you more familiar with what’s around you. What’s more, a study by researchers from Stanford University suggests that just being around nature does wonderful, stress-relieving stuff to our bodies. Think about how chilled out you feel after a summer’s day stroll and it all makes sense.
How Sports Tracker can help: – Use Route Finder to discover more beautiful places to walk
3. Walking makes your neighborhood a better place to live
Look at a neighborhood’s public space and you get a sense of the neighborhood itself. Public spaces are central to the dynamics of city life. They’re the places where people socialise and meet up. If public spaces are perceived as accessible, attractive, and safe, they can inspire a huge range of uses and activities. Journalist Jane Jacobs studied this relationship over fifty years ago and developed the concept of “eyes on the street”. She concluded that one of the main characteristics of a thriving urban centre is that people feel safe and secure in public spaces, even when among complete strangers. In short, the more people walking the streets, the better for everyone.
How Sports Tracker can help: – Set up a Sports Tracker walking group with friends and family
4. Walking gives you a chance to disconnect
These days, more than ever before, we’re overwhelmed by the constant flow of information. A walk can give you a venue for meditation with one of the several techniques, either entirely on your own or with the help of guided meditations you can listen to through your smartphone. Look up walking meditation on YouTube and you’ll be amazed by what’s available for free. Remember: regular mindfulness meditation practice is proven to be an efficient reliever of both physical stress and anxiety, making for a happier day.
How Sports Tracker can help: –Find the most relaxing route and time your meditation
5. Walking can entertain and educate you
If you get your moment of calm and clarity elsewhere, your daily walk can make you happier by entertaining and educating you too. From old school mp3 players to unlimited music streaming services on your smartphone, there are loads of ways you can listen to music while you walk. Research by the Music Therapy Program at the University of Miami found that people who listened to music they enjoyed completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood. Alternatively, you can explore the wonderful world of spoken-word content in the forms of audiobooks and podcasts. Putting aside time to walk isn’t only what your body craves, it might just be the break you’ve needed to learn about subjects that interest you, or catch up on your favorite novelist.
How Sports Tracker can help: –See which top tunes make your walk faster
So, there you have it. If you won’t get to the gym today, don’t stress about it. Just crank up your Sports Tracker and take a walk. We can almost promise you that you’ll feel happier and healthier for it.
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