Walking a mile a day is an easy and enormously beneficial exercise habit to form. Many people struggle to get into a good exercise regimen, but the latest research says the barrier to entry for getting the benefits from exercise is very low. If you are currently sedentary, as little as 150 minutes per week is enough to start noticing changes in your body, like lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, and perhaps weight loss.
Walking is easy to scoff at because it seems so, well, easy. It’s hard to think of walking as some extremely useful form of exercise, but that simply is not what the most recent research indicates. Our bodies benefit from moving, and walking is one movement our bodies are particularly adept at doing.
Walking is something most of us do every day––albeit, not enough of it. The majority of Americans simply do not get enough exercise, and our modern lifestyle positively encourages sedentary living. So, walking a mile for many people might seem like an enormous undertaking, let alone doing it every day. At a normal pace however, walking a mile takes between 18-21 minutes––an easy enough time commitment for even the busiest people. If you do It every day, that puts you close to the 150 minutes per week of moderate movement that research says can help cut your risk of serious disease significantly.
A few things happen when you walk a mile every day.
First, you will improve your cardiovascular health. Even if walking that far is difficult at first, you will be surprised how quickly that mile long walk turns into an easy task that doesn’t even leave you slightly winded. Walking will get your heart rate up to a reasonable rate, making it stronger and work more efficiently to pump blood throughout your body.
Next, you will strengthen certain muscles not just in your legs, but in your core. Your muscles have to support your own weight and hold you upright; anytime they are put under any sort of pressure, they will respond by growing stronger to meet those demands. Not only do your muscles get stronger, since walking is a weight-bearing impact activity, your bones will become stronger as well. Similar to muscles, bones respond to having pressure put on them by growing stronger. This can prevent bone loss as you grow into old age.
Not bad for something you likely do every day anyway.
Committing to a mile a day may seem like a challenge, but really within a couple weeks, you will likely notice some dramatic improvement in your overall health. For some, this is an easy entry into an active, healthy lifestyle.