Running isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and that’s for a good reason. Running can be exhausting and has high impact on joints. Walking on the other hand has more health benefits than you may think and some of them are quite unexpected.
Walking at a brisk pace – for half an hour, five days a week – is proven to:
- improve mood
- improve creativity
- improve the ability to solve problems
- facilitate weight loss
- lower blood pressure
- lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 30%
- lower stroke risk by as much as 20%-40%
- improve regularity
It gets better, regular walking:
- improves muscle tone
- improves bone density
- improves circulation
- prevents varicose veins
- helps fall asleep and get more restful sleep
In contrast, regular running or jogging
- lowers testosterone levels
- damages joints
- weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to disease and slowing recovery
- leads to knee damage
- shortens lifespan
- last but not least, even though studies suggest that jogging improves heart health, many young, healthy and fit joggers die of a sudden a heart attack. Go figure.
Long story short, walking is better than jogging. We should all start walking. Walking in good company is a great idea because it adds better emotional health to the list of its many benefits.
A word of warning: watch where you walk, especially in Los Angeles! Southern California weather – and other factors – makes our sidewalks buckle, crack and crumble and our City’s rules pertaining to sidewalks are as inconsistent as the sidewalks themselves. A serious fall could cost you. Worse, while you’d be paying for medical treatment and losing income, looking for the responsible party in Los Angels might be futile. The City routinely denies sidewalk injury claims while property owners often have valid claims against the City…. The confusing regulations often leave injured walkers in the lurch. So, wear safe shoes, mind the sidewalk, but WALK!
The Harvard Medical School’s Website features a list of surprising health benefits of walking. Which one surprised us the most? A seemingly insignificant 30 minute walk helps curb the sweet tooth! Get walking!