6 Benefits of Walking Daily

man and woman with child walking in grass

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Walking is a great way to keep your health and can provide many benefits such as better sleep, increased moods or even weight loss. Find out the benefits of walking daily.

Getting to the gym for a workout may be one of the most impossible tasks – in fact, most gyms across the country are currently closed or operating under limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, many people would rather clean their homes than work out. Don’t worry — we aren’t here to guilt you into going to the gym. In fact, we are here to do the opposite. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re here to support you with other ways you can stay motivated and healthy. Read on to learn about an alternative to going to the gym that may actually benefit you more: walking.

Walking doesn’t get the credit it deserves. We may go so far as to say that it is the most underrated form of exercise, especially for those who are suffering from vein issues in the legs.

Why? We discuss why walking is something you need to work into your daily routine.

6 Benefits of Walking Every Day to Improve Your Health

Walking is one of the top exercises doctors recommend because it is easy on the body and requires no equipment. If you’re considering adding walking to your routine but haven’t been fully convinced yet, here are the key health benefits you stand to gain from walking every day.

1. Daily walking burns calories

People who don’t move on a regular basis will notice a huge difference when adding a walk into their daily routine. Walking is a great way to change how your body reacts to insulin, which increases your chances of being able to lose some of that stubborn body fat. Many people find that walking for just 30 minutes a day helps them to increase their metabolism and maintain a healthy weight. You increase calories burned by incorporating a faster, more brisk walk into your routine. The Mayo Clinic states that “the faster, farther, and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits.”

Try out slowly with 30 minutes of regular walking a day, and then slowly work your way up to a more challenging, brisk walk for a longer period of time..

2. Walking increases circulation

As a vein clinic, we are big fans of anything that helps to improve circulation, so it’s no secret that we are big fans of walking. By walking, you are helping your veins to do their job. You are aiding them in getting your blood back up to your heart and lungs by strengthening your circulation. If you have a history of varicose veins in your family, you should put a big emphasis on walking to help delay the development of symptoms from those veins in your legs. If you are currently suffering from vein issues, walking can help to reduce swelling and help put some leg restlessness at bay, as long as you have been cleared by your VCA doctor.

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3. Taking daily walks will improve your mood

Has anyone ever told you to go for a walk when you were in a bad mood? They were right. Walking does improve your mood. According to a Harvard study, “running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression.” Any sort of movement is good for your mood, but if you aren’t the type of person to run a mini-marathon or put in an hour of sweat lifting weights, then you can still turn that frown upside down by going on a nice long walk.

couple walking on beach

4. It will aid in digestion

According to a study mentioned in a Time Magazine article, “walking helps speed up the time it takes food to move from the stomach into the smaller intestines. This could help improve satiety after eating.” Further, it states that there is “also evidence that links this type of faster digestion with lower rates of heartburn and other reflux symptoms.” To get the best benefits, aim to get moving within an hour after you finish eating. The sooner you get out the door post-dinner, the better.

5. It will help boost immunity

A study conducted and shared by Harvard found that people who walked a least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week “had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.” And if they did still end up sick, “it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.” If that’s not enough of a reason to get up and walk, we don’t know what is. No one likes being sick, so if you know you can greatly reduce your chances of getting sick simply by going out for a walk, then why not lace up your tennis shoes and get out there?

6. Walking will help you sleep better

If you are struggling to sleep, try taking a walk a few hours before bedtime to help you fall asleep. A Harvard study found that “exercise boosts the effect of natural sleep hormones such as melatonin.” However, the timing of your exercise (in this case, walking) is important. You don’t want to get your walk-in right before you head to bed, as it has the potential to boost your energy and make sleeping even more difficult than usual. Instead, time your walk for earlier in the day or right after an early dinner.

Interested in reading more about how exercise can help with your vein health? Explore our collection of exercise topics.

Learn more lifestyle changes that benefit you and your veins.

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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