Walking is finally getting the recognition it deserves. The past three years of the pandemic have put our steps in the spotlight: It could be considered the ultimate form of exercise accessible to our physical and mental health. Walking is a way to get out of the house and get some fresh air while being physically active and maybe even connecting with a friend. In 2022 specifically, walking really has several Moments — in the form of not one but two TikTok trends.
First, the Silly Little Walk trend is about enjoying the uncanny simplicity that a walk offers in our overstimulated world. Then Hot Girl Walk says nuh-uh, don’t minimize walking! It is an opportunity to find strength within ourselves through our gratitude, our dreams, and our hotness. Both trends have resonated with millions of TikTok viewers, making even more people love walking.
And for good reason. Last year, we outlined five reasons why walking is good for you, highlighting the benefits to your cardiovascular system, muscles, brain, mood and mental health. But in 2022, we’ve covered new ways and research into why walking is, in Tina Turner’s iconic words, simply the best.
Here are eight reasons we’ll love walking again in 2022.
1. It effectively improves cardiovascular and respiratory health
According to Michael Weinrauch, MD, just 17 minutes of walking a day is associated with improved cardiovascular health, which is “the heart’s and lungs’ ability to deliver oxygen to the body’s muscles and organs during the process. physical activity”. Cardiologist based in New Jersey. Essentially, it’s your body’s ability to power through everything you do. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness is also associated with lower cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
2. It’s linked to better brain health
One study of people in their 80s found that those who engaged in regular exercise, including walking, had fewer markers of inflammation and degenerative aging in the brain. “Physical activity is associated with better cognitive aging and reduced risk of neurodegenerative disease,” the researchers wrote.
3. It is related to longevity
A study of 47,000 adults found that strength walking for even 10 minutes a day was associated with a lower mortality rate. And the more people walked, the lower their odds were: Increasing moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for 10, 20, or 30 minutes a day was associated with a reduction of 6.9%, 13% and 16.9% of deaths per person. year, respectively.
4. It can support gut and digestive health, especially for people with IBS
Walking can help with digestion, and it turns out to be a great way for people with IBS to reduce flare-ups. It reduces stress and inflammation, and promotes good sleep, which are all ways to help manage IBS symptoms.
5. It’s a full body workout
Your quads, glutes, and hamstrings are definitely working when you walk. But did you know that your core and upper back are also working? Having good walking posture means that your abs are supporting your body and keeping your pelvis stable, while your bent arms are swinging, working your back and powering you forward. That makes walking a real full-body exercise.
6. It can give you the same cardiovascular benefits as running but is easier on your joints
The myth that running is “better” than walking has been completely disproved. Walking at a faster pace, or by including some incline, can increase your heart rate and work your muscles without putting the strain on your joints like jogging.
7. It’s the perfect cooldown
Yes, it’s important to cool down after an intense workout, and walking is one of the best tools in your cooldown toolbox. Walking helps your nervous system overcome the fight-or-flight state it experiences during intense exercise and initiate a rest and recovery response. It also helps promote blood flow back to your brain and heart while reducing brain fog.
8. This is the number 8, but actually the benefits of walking are “incalculable”
Walking lowers blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, which are just three of the reasons Eli Friedman, MD, medical director of sports cardiology at Baptist Health’s Miami Heart & Vascular Institute , described the benefits of walking as “immeasurable”. Friedman also cites improved mental health and the ability to handle stress as one of the many positives of walking. So whether you’re going for a long or short walk, get out for a walk today—your body and mind will thank you.