Posted: 23 May 2024 By:  Reading time: minutes remaining

Surprising Health Benefits Of Walking Daily

Did you know there are many health benefits of walking every day, including treating cancer? In this blog post, you will learn eight health benefits of walking. 

You will also discover how to add walking into your life and make it easier to fight cancer.

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The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe treat or cure cancer.This information is not intended as medical advice, please refer to a qualified healthcare professional.

Unexpected Health Benefits Of Walking

When people think of exercise, they believe it is an activity that raises their pulse. If you don't run or feel exhausted, you haven't exercised.

One aerobic exercise that rarely gets credit is walking. Walking shares the same mental and physical health benefits as other aerobic exercises. But it requires less effort and doesn't strain the body as much.

Hiker walking outdoors during sunset on the rock

Walking shares the same mental and physical health benefits as other aerobic exercises

Walking is a low-impact exercise. It is easy on the joints and suitable for knee, ankle, or hip problems. Walking requires no special equipment, gym membership, or training. It's free and accessible to all.

Walking has many health benefits. Its primary benefit is that it's good for the heart.

Walking Can Improve Blood Pressure And Heart Health

Walking improves circulation, which lowers blood pressure and one's heart rate. It also improves the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body. 

For every 1,000 daily steps you take, you could reduce your systolic blood pressure by .45 points. JAMA published a study about walking. Walking between 2,000 to 10,000 steps daily reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

3d-animated heart inside a body

Walking between 2,000 to 10,000 steps daily reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

2021 review of 73 trials concluded that walking may help decrease blood pressure. One study looked at the effect of walking and vigorous exercise on heart health. Walking and vigorous exercise were associated with similar risk reductions.

It can also improve your mood.

Daily Walking Can Boost Your Mood

Walking can make you feel better. Research shows that ten minutes of walking can lift your mood. You can amplify this effect even more by taking a stroll through nature. If you walk outside, you also get vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D improves your mood and can also help fight cancer.

Walking with others can help you feel more connected to others and help you deal with your problems. The other person can be a sounding board and make you feel heard.

Couple in sunset

Walking can improve your mood and give you vitamin D

You can validate your ideas and realize things you haven't thought of. Walking can help lower stress. It reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which makes you feel less anxious. 

2022 study found that a 60-minute walk in nature decreased brain regions involved in stress. The brain activity remained stable after a 60-minute walk in an urban environment. 

Walking can also better your sleep.

Your Sleep Improves With Daily Walking

Exercise can help you sleep better at night. Physical activity boosts the effects of the sleep hormone melatonin. A 2019 study followed postmenopausal women. Light and moderate-intensity physical activity like walking leads to better sleep.

Another study found that adults who walked daily had better sleep quality and length. Walking also helps reduce pain and stress, which can cause sleep disturbances.

Snow white

Physical activity boosts the effects of the sleep hormone melatonin

Getting up and moving helps you shake off feelings of low energy. A 2017 study found that even five minutes of walking improved mood. It also lowered depression.

Another way walking can boost your health is by reducing your weight.

Walking Can Make You Lose Weight With Less Effort

Obesity raises your risk of many serious illnesses, including cancer. One of the best ways you can improve your health is by losing weight. 

Strenuous exercises are not necessary to lose weight. Regular walking can help you lose weight by reducing fat, which enhances your body's response to insulin.

Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories. It also prevents muscle loss, which is vital as we age. You don't have to tire yourself on a treadmill to see these benefits. 

A study looked at obese adults. One group consumed a calorie-reduced diet and walked 2.5 hours weekly for 12 weeks. The other one followed the same diet but didn't walk. 

An obese man measuring his waistline

Regular walking can help you lose weight by reducing fat

Those who walked reduced fasting insulin levels and fat more than the other group. Both groups lost about 8% of their body weight. But those who added walking to a calorie-controlled diet lost more fat. 

Walking can reduce your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease.  A meta-analysis of 21 studies focused on overweight or obese women. The women had a walking routine for at least four weeks but didn't make other behavior changes. 

Walking helped them decrease total cholesterol and LDL ("bad cholesterol") by about 7 mg/dl. Even if walking can make you lose weight, you can't out-walk a bad diet.

You Can't Out-Walk A Bad Diet

Walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise that uses energy and burns calories. Some recommend it due to its simplicity and accessibility.

But remember that you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. Eat a plant-based, low-fat, high-carb diet. Reduce stress and get enough sleep.

Once you have nutrition dialed in, walking can turn you into a fat-burning machine. If you can start walking more, you will get lean a lot faster. 

Even a few thousand steps daily can burn hundreds of calories and reduce disease risk. Walking burns a moderate amount of calories. It's the most effortless way to induce fat loss.

vegetables

Once you have nutrition dialed in, walking can turn you into a fat-burning machine

It burns fewer calories than running. But you don't feel as hungry or deplete your recovery as with running. If you can start walking daily, you can reduce your weight.

Ten thousand steps a day is a good starting point. Twelve thousand is even better. At 14,000, you become a fat-burning machine. The fat melts off as long as you have your nutrition dialed in. 

Four intense workouts a week are not enough to keep your metabolism where you want it to be. Running can deplete your willpower if you're not used to it. It also increases your hunger, so you might eat more. 

What's the benefit of burning 800 calories but increasing your appetite by 500? It's only a 300-calorie net benefit. 

Walking takes less energy than running and can burn more calories than you might believe.

Walking Burns More Calories Than You Might Believe

Walking burns many more calories than people think. It is scalable. There are many ways to make it more challenging with minimal equipment.

For example, you can walk up a hill or slope and raise your heart rate. Increasing your speed can burn more calories. Try to walk faster at certain sections of your walk.

If you're 30 pounds overweight, you do not need to run. It puts a lot of stress on the knees. If you're overweight, the calories you burn while walking will be high. 

Pants that are too big

Walking burns many more calories than people think

The heavier you are, the more fat you will burn. It takes more effort for the body to carry all those extra pounds. 

Find time to walk. Schedule your walks. Divide them into chunks throughout the day if you cannot make it in one swoop. 

If you're in an office and have a lunch break, go for a 15-minute walk. Before dinner, go for a stroll. If you call your friends, walk in a circle or your backyard.

Another benefit of walking is that it reduces diabetes

Reduce Your Diabetes Risk By Walking

Walking can help you deal with chronic diseases. A 2022 study showed that walking reduces your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. 

The American Diabetes Association recommends walking to lower blood sugar levels. Walking lowers your overall risk for type 2 diabetes.

Animation showing diabetes on a cellular level

Walking reduces your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes

One 2022 study showed that two minutes of walking after eating can help lower blood sugar. Even the shortest of walks can make a difference.

Other benefits of walking every day include improved brain activity and creativity.

Daily Walking Can Boost Your Creativity And Brain Activity

Walking can improve your brain activity. One study examined brain scans of people who walked briskly for one hour three times a week. 

The decision-making areas of their brains worked better. Other research shows that activities like walking improve brain function in older women. These benefits could be due to increased blood flow to the brain. 

3D digital futuristic brain with golden sparks

Walking can improve your brain activity

One study found that a higher number of steps lowered the risk of all-cause dementia. Another study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60%.

Walking opens up the free flow of ideas. It is a simple solution to increasing creativity and physical activity.

Other benefits of walking include reduced joint pain and stronger bones.

You Can Reduce Joint Pain And Create Stronger Bones By Walking

Walking for at least 10 minutes daily or about an hour weekly improves arthritis pain in older adults. A 2019 study followed 1,564 adults older than 49 with lower-body joint pain. Those who walked for an hour each week remained more disability-free four years later. 

Walking increases blood flow to tense areas. It helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints. Walking is a safe, inexpensive, and convenient physical activity for those with arthritis.

older woman having leg pain

Walking for at least 10 minutes daily or about an hour weekly improves arthritis pain in older adults

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise. You perform it upright with your bones supporting your weight. It may help preserve bone health and decrease osteoporosis risk. Walking also improves your core strength, preventing falls as you age.

It can improve bone strength in your legs and spine. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends three 10-minute brisk walks per day. For the biggest benefits to your bones, combine walking with a strength-training program.

Walking reduces your risk of bone loss later in life. It works on your legs, hips, and lower spine bones to slow density loss. 

2022 study found that long-term brisk walking is an efficient way to improve bone density. Three 30-minute brisk walks per week prevent bone loss in premenopausal women.

You can also prolong your life by walking.

Walking Can Add Years To Your Life

Walking can add years to your life. The good news is that it doesn't take much to see results. One study examined people who did ten to 59 minutes of moderate weekly exercise. They had an 18% lower risk of death during the study period compared to those who were inactive. 

Those who exercised 150 minutes weekly in at least 10-minute spurts had a 31% lower risk of death. Other research shows that the faster you walk, the lower your risk. 

2021 study found that 7,000 steps lowered the death rate for people ages 38 to 50. Another 2019 study said older women who took 4,400 steps a day reduced death rates more than less active women. Mortality rates decreased before leveling at about 7500 steps per day.

Senior couple walking at the beach

Walking can add years to your life

Walking, running, or swimming reduces the risk of 13 cancers. An international research team examined the links between physical activity and cancer. They used data from 12 studies that followed 1.44 million people over time to assess cancer risk.

Study participants ranged from 19 to 98 years old. The researchers surveyed time spent in moderate to vigorous leisure-time physical activities. They took into account factors such as age, smoking, alcohol use, diet, and education.

During a follow-up of about a decade, there were 187,000 new cancer cases. The highest leisure-time physical activity reduced the risk of 13 of 26 cancers. 

Those with the highest activity had a 20% lower risk for: 

  • Esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Gastric cardia cancer
  • Myeloid leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Endometrial cancer

They also had a 10-20% lower risk for myeloma and cancers of the head and neck, rectum, bladder, and breast.

Other surprising health benefits of walking every day happen when you walk barefoot.

The True Power Walking

Earthing or grounding means walking barefoot outside, sitting, working, or sleeping connected to Earth. It is among the most natural and safest things you can do.

Humans have strolled, sat, stood, and slept on the ground throughout history. Their skins touched the Earth and transferred a natural electrical signal. 

The Earth's electrical energy balances our bodily frequencies. We all live and function on an electrical planet. Each of us is a collection of dynamic electrical circuits. 

A person standing barefoot on grass

Walking barefoot on the Earth has great healing benefits

Your heart, brain, nervous system, muscles, and immune system are electrical subsystems. They work within your bioelectrical body. Electricity energizes all your movements, behaviors, and actions.

Most people are unaware of their bioelectrical nature. They live disconnected from the Earth's surface. Our ancestors knew the ground held unique healing energy.

The Earth was sacred. Civilizations everywhere tuned in to the cycles of nature for survival and health. 

Sadly, we lost our connection to Earth.

Humans Have Lost Connection To Earth

Our bare feet rarely touch the ground. Modern shoe soles have separated us from Earth's energy. The bottoms of our footwear are dead. A shoe has several layers:

  • Outsole
  • Insole filler material
  • Cushioning
  • Midsole
  • Footbed
  • Sock liner

They almost block out sensory responses. Our homes and workplaces are non-conductive. They separate us from the Earth's healing electrons. Our house or office elevates us above the ground. 

No current can flow through insulating materials. Examples of insulating materials include plastic, rubber, glass, and wood. You will not receive any good energy from below unless you walk on a dirt, cement, marble, or stone floor. 

Bare feet on grass

Walking barefoot on grass can improve several health problems

Grounding can help improve:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Normalize the body's biological rhythms
  • Speed healing and prevent bedsores
  • Lessen or eliminate chronic pain
  • Improve blood pressure and flow
  • Reduce or eliminate jet lag
  • Improve sleep
  • Relieve muscle tension and headaches
  • Protect against environmental electromagnetic fields (EMFs)
  • Lower stress
  • Lessen hormonal and menstrual symptoms
  • Speed up recovery from intense athletic activity

You can ground yourself by standing barefoot on the Earth. If it is not too cold, try walking barefoot. Find a big field close to you and walk barefoot there. If you walk in the forest, there can be painful rocks or other things in the way.

Walking on the sidewalk can also work. You might get stares from other people, but it's worth it. Leave your bare feet on the Earth for about 30 or 40 minutes. Any part of your body that touches the ground receives energy from below.

Summary

Walking is a low-impact exercise.

Walking between 2,000 to 10,000 steps daily reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Walking can improve your mood and give you vitamin D.

Light and moderate-intensity physical activity like walking leads to better sleep.

Regular walking can help you lose weight by reducing fat.

Once you have nutrition dialed in, walking can turn you into a fat-burning machine.

Walking burns many more calories than people think and is scalable.

Walking reduces your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes.

Other health benefits of walking are improved brain activity and creativity.

Walking for at least 10 minutes daily or about an hour weekly improves arthritis pain in older adults.

Walking can add years to your life.

Walking barefoot on the Earth has great healing benefits.

How To Get Health Benefits Of Walking Every Day

1. Set a daily step goal

2. Use a step counter to track your daily steps

3. Walk 45 to 60 minutes daily most days to lose weight

4. Divide you walking sessions

5.  Incorporate walking into your daily life

Action Steps

There are many health benefits of walking every day. It is a great way to reduce cancer. If you're weak from cancer, you might not be able to walk much. But when you find your strength, try walking a couple of thousand steps. Even less than 10,000 steps are beneficial. You can also use walking sticks to help you walk easier.

Set a daily step goal to get started. For accurate tracking of your steps and heart rate, I suggest investing in a step counter like Fitbit. This device counts your steps and detects when you start an activity.

It provides you with a comprehensive overview of your physical activity. A smartwatch, like an Apple watch, can also measure your steps. If you don't have a step counter, most smartphones can count your steps.

If you are using walking to lose weight, walk 45 to 60 minutes daily most days. That is 15 to 30 minutes more than the general health and wellbeing guideline. 

The walking session doesn't need to be in one swoop. You can break it up during the day into two or three large chunks. Go for a 30-minute walk in the morning.

Do another 15- or 30-minute walk session after dinner or lunch break. About 45 minutes to an hour of walking is good for weight loss or better weight control.

You can expect to burn about a hundred calories for every thousand steps. How much weight you can expect to lose depends on the duration, intensity, and how often you do it per week.

There are several ways to incorporate walking into your daily life. For example, you can lose body fat by walking to work instead of driving. Park your car within 15 minutes walking distance from your workplace.

Find a park even if you live in a city that's not that walkable. Walk for 30 minutes and meet a friend. Or go into the part of every town that has a walkable part.

You can make walking functional by going with a friend, who will give you that social benefit. Take a work or business call on the phone while walking. Listening to an audiobook or podcast is another thing you can do.

You can also use your walking as a meditation exercise and practice being present. When you're traveling, it's fantastic to walk and explore a new city. 

Ways to increase walking:

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Parking further away from the door at shops, work, or school
  • Walking to lunch, work, school, or other activities if possible
  • Taking walking breaks at work instead of sitting in a break room

You can also use other easy exercises to deal with cancer. Download our guide below to learn more.

exercise for cancer

Learn 20 Easy Exercises For Cancer

Download this free e-book to learn 20 easy exercises you can use if you have cancer.

Resources:


About the author 

Simon Persson

Simon Persson is a holistic cancer blogger passionate about natural health remedies. When he is not blogging, he enjoys nature, cooking, sports, and learning about the latest gadgets on the market.

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