Walking has so many benefits. It’s free, you get to wear comfy clothes and shoes, and you can choose a beautiful place to walk.
For some people with Sjogren’s Syndrome or Lupus, whether they’re walking through a supermarket or sitting in an office, the UV exposure from artificial light can be just as damaging and painful as too much time outside in the sun. If you are sensitive to light, please cover up with a shirt like Vapor Apparel Women’s UPF 50+ Solar Performance Long Sleeve T-Shirt, but don’t give up being outdoors.
Benefits of Walking Outdoors
1. Walking strengthens your heart
Walking is not only good for your heart; instead it will be great for your heart! Walking will increase your heart rate which is a good thing. Your heart is a very strong muscle and in order to keep our muscles strong, they need to be put to work. When you heart is pumping, it will pump blood to your muscles and oxygen will also be pumped to your muscles. This result will help keep your heart strong and healthy so be sure to stay active!
2. Walking lowers disease risk
A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.
3. Walking helps you lose weight
Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit, which the CDC defines as taking in fewer calories than you burn. Walking can help you burn calories, so it can certainly help contribute toward a calorie deficit.
4. Walking prevents dementia
A research study conducted by neurologists at Jacksonville, Florida’s Mayo Clinic, indicates this may in fact be the case. They found that taking a 20-minute walk each day could cut down the risk of developing dementia by a whopping 40%.
5. Walking tones up legs, bums and tums
Walking is one of the most basic aerobic exercises out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective at helping you tone your legs and trim the fat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists walking as one of the best low-impact aerobic exercises for beginners. It’s an inexpensive way for people of just about any fitness level to start shaping and toning their body.
6. Walking boosts vitamin D
Not getting enough vitamin D in the winter months can result in bone pain and tenderness. This, along with muscle weakness, is most often associated with vitamin D deficiency but experts have suggested that low levels of vitamin D can also raise your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. A walk in the winter sun could boost your vitamin D levels and reduce the risk of these chronic conditions, plus enhance bone density and keeps your joints mobile.
7. Walking gives you energy
You’ll get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.
8. Walking makes you happy
Walking may actually help to lift mood more than running! Research found that walkers reported feeling better than their running counterparts not only after completing exercise, but while doing it as well. And this lift in mood isn’t short‐lived. Just 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, has been found to be enough to provide your body with increased energy and a lifted mood for as much as 12 hours!
9. It is a great way to warm-up for a more vigorous workout
A short walk may have feel-good effects in other situations as well. When done before exercising, for example, a 5- to 10-minute warm-up such as gentle walking serves multiple purposes. It preps your muscles for harder work, improving efficiency and helping stave off injury. It raises your heart rate slowly, reducing the strain on your heart. And based on Miller’s study, it may also create a frame of mind that helps you make the most of your workout time.