10 reasons to start a walking program
1. Walking helps prevent 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%. Find out more about preventing diabetes.
2. Walking strengthens your heart if you're male.
In one study, mortality rates among retired men who walked less than one mile per day were nearly twice that among those who walked more than two miles per day.
3. Walking strengthens your heart if you're female.
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.
4. 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!
5. 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.
6. Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression.
Walking for 30 minutes, three to five times per week for 12 weeks reduced symptoms of depression by 47% as measured with a standard depression questionnaire.
7. Walking helps reduce the risk of breast 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.
8. Walking helps reduce your risk of colon cancer.
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.
9. Walking in short bouts improves fitness, too!
A study of sedentary women showed that short bouts of brisk walking (three 10-minute walks per day) resulted in similar improvements in fitness and were at least as effective in decreasing body fatness as long bouts (one 30-minute walk per day).
10. Walking is green.
The more footprints you make the more you reduce your carbon footprint. And that doesn't just improve your health... it improves everyone's. The list goes on, but if we continue, there'll be no time for you to start walking!