Health Benefits of Walking

Health Benefits of Walking


This weekend family and friends gathered to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday.

We asked her secret to good health and longevity? She said; “walking and eating bagels.” …Her favorite food 🙂

She walks every day with her friends, Marge and Blanche; who are both in their eighties

They meet at my grandma’s house each morning and walk for an hour. If it is too cold or snowing outside they drive to the mall and walk inside. My grandma and her friends are healthy, mentally sharp, and great examples of the research below.

7 Reasons to Walk (from medicinenet.com)

1. Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Prevention Program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing just 7% of your body weight (12-15 pounds) can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.

2. Walking strengthens your heart. Women in the Nurse’s Health Study (72,488 female nurses) who walked three hours or more per week reduced their risk of a heart attack or other coronary event by 35% compared with women who did not walk.

3. Walking is good for your brain. In a study on walking and cognitive function, researchers found that women who walked the equivalent of an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week had significantly better cognitive function and less cognitive decline than women who walked less than 40 minutes per week. Think about that!

4. Walking is good for your bones. Research shows that postmenopausal women who walk approximately one mile each day have higher whole-body bone density than women who walk shorter distances, and walking is also effective in slowing the rate of bone loss from the legs.

5. Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression as measured with a standard depression questionnaire by 47%.

6. Walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer. Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women. Many studies have shown that exercise can prevent colon cancer, and even if an individual person develops colon cancer, the benefits of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.

7. Walking improves fitness. Walking just three times a week for 30 minutes can significantly increase cardiorespiratory fitness.