On August 8th, the Healthy Families BC team launched the Walking Challenge in an effort to assist British Columbians in increasing their health and wellbeing through walking. The challenge is ending however, I want to take this opportunity to discuss why walking is an amazing activity as well as share some of the scientific evidence behind its goodness.
Here are a few reasons why walking is awesome:
- It’s FREE and Easy to Do!
- I walk to reduce stress, keep alert and positive
- It is an outlet to get active and outdoors with friends, family or co-workers of all ages and abilities.
- It’s easy to do in work clothes and is perfect for active meetings!
- You can do it with your family. How about walking the kids to school?
How Does Walking Improve Health? Scientific evidence has shown that regular physical activity, walking approximately 30-60 minutes five days a week, is associated with significant health benefits and reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and conditions like heart disease, hypertension, obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, gallstones and back injuries.
Walking improves our health by:
- Improving cholesterol and blood sugar profiles
- Improving the function of the heart and lungs
- Increasing the strength and function of our muscles, bones, and joints
- Assisting with weight control and decreasing the amount of fat we store
- Improving psychological wellbeing, reducing stress and increasing energy and positive mood states
- Improving the function of the immune system
- Allowing our bodies to recover from exertion, stress, illness and or injury much faster
For a more complete list, please view the PAL fact sheet: The Health Benefits of Physical Activity. If you need some advice on how to incorporate walking into your lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to contact the Physical Activity Line at 8-1-1.
In addition, check out: Overcoming Barriers: Adding More Physical Activity to your Life
P.S. I strongly encourage you to share your favourite reasons for walking or benefits of activity with the community by commenting below!
Keep Positive, Keep Smiling and KEEP MOVING! Marc Faktor