The air is warming, flowers are blooming, and National Walking Day is almost here! April 7 is all about getting out and active in one of the simplest ways. Exercising doesn’t have to be exhausting or intimidating: It can be as easy as taking a walk! This is beneficial to your mental and physical health and the routine can be easily attainable by many people. Simply leaving the house and walking short and long distances (aim for 30 minutes a day) has been shown to increase endurance, build muscle, and just maintain or improve your overall health.
Why Participate in National Walking Day?
Many people enjoy walking as exercise, relaxation, and as a chance to observe and take notice of the little things in life: There’s so much to see in your own neighborhood and local community! That’s why we’re excited for National Walking Day on April 7. The American Heart Association designates the first Wednesday of the month of April as a day to try to incorporate more walking into your life. While you can celebrate National Walking Day any day or time of year, the spring is a beautiful time to get out and get walking or hiking.
It’s also a great way to connect with your friends and family while feeling productive and refreshed. Enjoy the benefits of socialization while enjoying the health benefits of walking! When the weather is pleasant, it’s easy to make it a routine: Now you can spend time with your friends while getting in a little bit of extra exercise.
Health Benefits of Walking
Even if you’re only able to walk a short distance each day, you will reap the health benefits of walking. As cliche as it sounds, we suggest taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, challenge yourself to walk the couple miles to the grocery store rather than driving (it’s good for the environment, too!). Many people include a regular walk in their daily routine: This provides one with mental and physical health benefits. A stroll through the park on a sunny day is sure to destress and allow you to unwind. Even cloudy days bring those same elements of unwinding and relaxing! Several studies have shown links between walking and its health benefits:
- Reduces risk of heart disease by improving circulation
- Burns excess calories
- Improves mood, reduces anxiety, and boosts energy
- Stimulates environmental curiosity
- Regulates muscle mass and tones legs
Walking outdoors brings even more health benefits, too! When you walk outside, you have access to fresh air, sunshine (vitamin D), and beautiful nature.
Go For A Walk Outdoors
When you choose to walk outdoors, you get to enjoy the benefits of spending time outdoors in addition to the health benefits of walking. It’s as simple as picking your favorite or a new-to-you outdoor location and lacing up those sneakers. Make it the best experience by preparing ahead in a couple ways and keeping these tips in mind:
- Make sure to walk in an approved area — Obviously stay away from environmental reserves and areas left as animal habitats near you. Research local hiking trails to start.
- Pack the sunscreen, umbrella, water, and LivBars! Nourishment and protectants from the natural elements are essential to enjoying a walk outdoors on National Walking Day.
- Straighten out your posture and make sure you’re looking up at the area around you. This is when you can break out into a fast walk or “fitness stride” if you’d like!
- Wear quality shoes that are meant for walking. There are several brands and kinds available specifically to support your soles on pavement, grass, sand, and more.
Whenever and wherever you end up going for a walk, you can start simple. It’s all about taking time to destress and move your body. Walking is one of the easiest ways to take care of and maintain your health: Go ahead and get started on National Walking Day!