The fitness world is in the midst of its ‘walking era'.
While the benefits of walking have never been a secret, the popularity of Fitbits; the Apple Health app; and more recently, TikTok fitness trends have sparked conversation about the benefits of getting your steps in.
Walking is a simple, free, and effective healthy habit with seemingly endless health benefits—not just for your physical health, but for your mental health, too! Here’s a breakdown of the benefits of adding regular walks to your daily routine.
The Perks of Walking for Health and Fitness
Walking can help strengthen the heart and improve blood circulation, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels, too.
If you’re on a weight loss journey, walking is a simple way to burn some additional calories. On average, walking one mile can burn between 70 and 115 calories, depending on your metabolic rate. Those miles add up!
Strengthening bones and muscles:
A few extra steps could be one big step toward your body’s longevity. Walking can help strengthen the muscles in the legs and lower body, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. It can also help to improve bone density, which can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
Reducing the risk of chronic diseases:
Studies show that regular walking can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and some types of cancer. Increasing your steps now could pay off in big ways for the future of your health.
The Perks of Walking for Mental Health
Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and walking offers dozens of benefits for our brains as well as our bodies. Here are just a few:
Reducing stress and improving mood:
Exercise of any kind releases endorphins—the brain chemicals that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. If your desk job is causing you stress or anxiety, start scheduling regular walking breaks throughout your day. Your brain will thank you.
Boosting creativity and productivity:
Give your brain a break! Walking is helpful for processing information more effectively (so long as you don’t spend your whole walk staring at your phone). It can also increase blood flow to the brain, which improves focus and concentration.
Increasing energy levels and improving sleep:
Regular movement helps improve circulation, which in turn can boost our energy levels. Regular movement also leads to better sleep, which improves our energy levels (and our lives overall)! If you’re not sleeping through the night, try adding some walking to your routine.
Earn Fitness Classes by Meeting your Step Goal
Looking to incorporate more walking into your daily routine? The simplest way to do so consistently is by setting a daily step goal. The XPASS app is a great way to not only track your steps but also to incentivize reaching your goal. By consistently meeting or exceeding a 5,000 daily step goal, XPASS app users can earn points to put towards fitness classes at studios like Cyclebar, Pure Barre, Rumble, and Club Pilates. The app is free to download, meaning you’re earning free fitness classes as a reward for maintaining daily habits.