Today is World Walk Day. We don’t have to walk for many kilometers, even taking short walks at a fast pace can guarantee us several benefits: improving circulation, relieving anxiety, promoting concentration or creativity and even extending our life! Some studies say it.
Walking is one of the simplest yet effective workouts to keep us healthy. As we have already said in a previous article, it is not even necessary to take 10 thousand steps as is often mistakenly believed. (Read: Walking: no, it is not true that you have to take at least 10 thousand steps a day ).
Even much shorter walks, in fact, offer many advantages and are absolutely not to be devalued, considering that maybe some of us just can’t (for various reasons) dedicate more time to this healthy practice.
Of course, if you are walking for only 10-15 minutes each day it would be important to integrate walking with other types of physical activity whenever possible.
But now let’s see what happens to the body by walking for only 10-15 minutes.
- It lowers the blood sugar level
- Improve blood circulation
- Increase your focus
- Reduces the risk of death by 15%
- Gain strength and confidence
- Burn more calories
- Relieves and prevents lower back pain
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- He sleeps better
- More creative
- Fights the craving for sweets
It lowers the blood sugar level
This is especially true if you go out for a walk after consuming a large meal. According to a study conducted on people suffering from type 2 diabetes, published in Diabetologia , a 10-minute walk after eating actually helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Improve blood circulation
According to an article published in Prevention , walking just 10 minutes a day can do wonders for blood circulation.
“Sitting six hours [each day] restricts blood flow to the legs, which can increase the risk of arterial disease, a precursor to heart attack or stroke. Only 10 minutes of walking can protect you ”, write the American experts.
Increase your focus
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ) required participants to perform several exercises, including a 10-minute brisk walk. It turned out that this single short exercise was particularly beneficial to the brain. Participants immediately showed much better memory performance and greater focus on cognitive tests.
Reduces the risk of death by 15%
A significant advantage of a short but determined walk is to reduce the risk of death by 15%. Leading health authorities from Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners say walking briskly for 10 minutes each day (where fast means a walk where you can talk but not sing) “can reduce the 15% risk of premature death “.
But there are several studies that confirm the longevity benefits of walking.
- Walking briskly extends life by 15 years
Gain strength and confidence
Those who need to gain a little more stamina and self-confidence can take a short walk at a brisk pace. To reveal these benefits was a study published a few years ago in the journal Emotion which highlighted how, compared to sitting, walking for only 12 minutes at a time leads to better attention, self-confidence as well as fostering feelings of vigor and joviality. .
Burn more calories
If you weigh 60 pounds and walk briskly for 10 minutes you will burn about 50 calories . Walking only once a day for a week would burn 350 calories but obviously, if we take several short walks a day – let’s say 3 10-minute walks – we can burn 1050 calories a week. An important contribution if our goal is to get back or keep fit, obviously also associating a correct diet with it.
Relieves and prevents lower back pain
Walking is also a great way to prevent or relieve back pain. This especially if the problem is due to too much sedentary lifestyle. In fact, walking eliminates some of the negative effects of sitting and at the same time stretches tense muscles and strengthens weak muscles that cause back pain.
“Walking, even for short periods of time, is very effective in reducing and even eliminating lower back pain. The contracted iliopsoas muscle is a common cause of lower back pain and just getting up from a sitting position and starting to walk stretches these muscles, ”said Dr. Peter J. Scordilis, a certified sports chiropractor at Scordilis Family Chiropractic .
Reduces anxiety and depression
Staying active reduces the chances of feeling anxious, depressed, or tense. Regular walks, especially outdoor ones, bring real improvements in this regard. Many scientific studies have shown that walking can help prevent and treat anxiety and depression by lifting your general mood.
Read also: Walk every day, don’t underestimate the therapeutic power of a walk
He sleeps better
Dr. Michael Mosley recommends morning walks for their many benefits. It’s a great way to start the day, improve your mood, and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep. In a podcast the expert stated:
“Light drives your biological clock. So in the evening, when you want to go to sleep, your body is ready for it. If you are struggling to sleep at night, it may be that you are not getting enough bright light in the morning ”.
Researchers at Stanford University recommend brainstorming during a 15-20 minute walk, which generates twice as many ideas as you walk than sitting at your desk.
Fights the craving for sweets
Who imagined that a 15-minute walk could also help curb the cravings of the sweet tooth? One study found that short, brisk walks can decrease cravings for chocolate and reduce the amount of chocolate consumed in stressful situations.