We all know that regularly exercise is a crucial part of living a happy and healthy life.

For many people, just the mention of the word “exercise” conjures up thoughts of punishing gym workouts, pounding the pavements with our running shoes - “no pain, no gain”, right?!


What’s most important is to find a form of exercise and movement that you enjoy – because then you are much more likely to do it regularly.

Don’t discount the simple pleasures of walking. By making a walk part of your daily habit, you can start to enjoy some of incredible health benefits for both body and mind.

Of course, if you do experience heel pain or other foot issues when walking, please see your local podiatrist.

The physical benefits of a daily walk

A research study by Harvard Medical School found that walking for just 2.5 hours a week (that’s just 21 minutes a day) can decrease your risk of heart disease by 30%. But that’s just the start! A daily walk is also good for:

  • boosting your immune system
  • lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • improving balance
  • reducing the risk of diabetes and even some cancers

The mental benefits of a daily walk

Alongside all the phenomenal physical benefits, a daily walk can also do wonders for your mental health, as it helps with:

Tips for making walking a daily habit

If you are finding it hard to squeeze a daily walk into your routine, here are some ideas to try.

  • Walk to get your morning coffee: If you need a caffeine hit to start your day, why not walk to get your morning coffee? Walking is a great way to start your day on a positive note and this is also the perfect time to collect your thoughts about the day ahead. Rewarding yourself with a coffee in the middle or at the end of your walk gives you just that little bit extra incentive to put on your walking shoes and get out the door first thing!
  • Wired for sound: Playing some punchy tunes might be what works best for you. Other people love going for walks as it’s a good time to listen to their favourite podcast.
  • Make walking a social activity: Next time you’re planning to catch up with friends or family, why not suggest going for a walk and rediscover your neighbourhood or city. Or take the scenic route; along the river, at the beach or walking tracks in national parks. Combining your walk with positive social interaction boosts the mental benefits, such as better mood and self-esteem. Research has found that those who are a part of a walking group, will keep exercising and not slack off as their walking buddy holds them accountable. If you’re not a fan of walking alone, this is the winning formula!
  • When it’s too darn hot: even a leisurely walk can be sticky and uncomfortable during the summer months – so stay cool by water walking at your local pool? The resistance of the water may mean you don’t clock up as much mileage, but it really enhances your workout!

If you haven’t already made walking part of your daily routine, now is the time to start. Let’s reap the benefits and walk our way to better health!

Author's Bio: 

Janet Camilleri loves writing for the web. In addition to her work in content marketing, she has a couple of blogs – like her latest, janettispaghetti.com – just for fun. No matter what she writes, or who she is writing for, Janet aims to amuse, inspire or inform - and sometimes, all three!