How a 30 minute walk can change your life

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Taking a walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There’s a good chance it’ll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health. “Walking is the No. 1 exercise I recommend to most of my patients because it is very easy to do, require nothing but a pair of tennis shoes, and has tremendous mental and physical benefits,” a doctor says. Here’s what you can expect when you start walking for just 30 minutes every day, most days of the week.

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  1. Your mood will improve.

This one may seem obvious, but it’s certainly a happy benefit for those who start walking regularly, says a reputed physician. “As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale isn’t moving much,” a physician adds that walking every day is one of the most effective low-impact ways to mobilize fat and positively alter body composition. “Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older,” The best part? You don’t have to slog it out on a treadmill at the gym to see these benefits. One of the people reduced her body fat by 2% in just one month by walking home from work each day, which was just under a mile.

  1. Your creative juices will start flowing.

Whether you’re feeling stuck at work or you’ve been searching for a solution to a tricky problem, research shows it’s a good idea to get moving: According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters.

  1. Your jeans will get a little looser.

You know how sometimes it takes a glass of wine or a square (or three) of dark chocolate to blunt the edge of a rough day? Well, going for a walk is a zero-calorie strategy with the same benefits, says a physician. Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. What’s more, when you make your walks social—you stride with, say, your partner, a neighbor, or a good friend—that interaction helps you feel connected, says physician, which boosts mood. Finally, walking outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight, which can help stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—making it a potential antidote for the winter blues.

  1. You’ll slash your risk of chronic disease.

The statistics says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. (30 or more minutes of moderate activity on 5 or more days per week)

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  1. You’ll keep your legs looking great

As we age, our risk of unsightly varicose veins increases—it’s just not fair. However, walking is a proven way to prevent those unsightly lines from developing. The venous system includes a circulatory section known as ‘the second heart,’ which is formed by muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot. This system works to push blood back up to the heart and lungs—and walking strengthens this secondary circulatory system by strengthening and preserving leg muscle, which boosts healthy blood flow. If you already suffer from varicose veins, walking daily can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs.

  1. You’ll start to get more “regular.”

If you currently praise coffee for keeping your digestive system going strong, get ready to start thanking your morning walk instead. That’s because a regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility.

  1. That walking regularly can help you to accomplish other goals you set your mind
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