Walking: the simple exercise with 3 hidden benefits

There’s one form of exercise that needs no fancy equipment, no gym membership and can make a big difference in your life: walking. You probably already know that walking can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your balance. Walking can also lead to some surprising improvements that may inspire you to lace up your sneakers:

Walking curbs back pain

Research has shown that walking helps reduce lower back pain. According to Dr. Michal Katz-Leurer of Tel Aviv University, walking programs can be “as effective as treatment that could have been received in the clinic.”

Walking outdoors reduces stress Hippocrates once said, “If you are in a bad mood, go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood, go for another walk.” University of Michigan psychology research explored the benefits of interacting with nature and found that it can help improve memory and attention. Researcher Marc Berman noted, “Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating.”

Walking increases bone density

As we age, our muscle mass and bone density decrease. The National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Disease National Research Center tells us that with regular exercise, we can reverse that. Walking gently increases stress on the bones, which in turn increases bone density.

Ready to get your walk on?

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Download a free walking schedule, courtesy of SilverSneakers®
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Warm up with a slow, five-minute walk
  • Walk at a pace that’s comfortable for you
  • Cool down during the last five minutes of your walk