If you’re considering taking up walking or running there are several benefits that could help convince you.
Improving your mental health
Although you should always seek medical advice if you suffer with poor mental health, getting outside to run or walk, even for just a short amount of time each day will help. A relaxing walk in a nice area can be soothing, or a brisk jog or run can help to work off some of the tension, improve your concentration, and your quality of sleep.
The fact that exercise releases endorphins in your brain, explains why walking or running is good for you. Although, it can be achieved with many forms of exercise, getting outdoors is preferable to being in a stuffy gym or exercising at home. If you have mild-moderate depression, it can be tempting to stay home, so the act of leaving the house to walk or run is a positive one. Once you’re outside and warmed up, you’ll start to feel better.
In addition to exercising; if you need to talk to someone you can find online therapy. You can choose from several highly-rated therapy services, depending on your needs.
Increasing Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin D to keep your bones healthy and reduce the risk of muscle weakness and some cancers. You’re unlikely to get enough from your diet alone and while you can take a supplement, spending time outdoors is a much better method, and in the warmer months can provide most or all of the vitamin D our bodies require.
Other health benefits
Walking or running will always be better for your health than staying inside and binge watching the latest TV series. Most people can start off with a short gentle walk and improve over time. Walking every day can reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing the risk of developing diabetes or heart conditions.
Although running can put a strain on the heart, building up gradually will generally do more good than harm. So long as you seek medical advice over any doubts you have, and don’t try to do too much at once, running (or walking) is more likely to improve your health than harm it. There are more cases of cardiac arrest from having a sedentary lifestyle than from doing moderate exercise.
For those with no health issues, just a few minutes of running at a time with walking intervals will improve their ability to run further and faster over time. That will improve their fitness levels, stamina, and metabolism while working off any excess weight. In addition, there are all the same health benefits gained by walking.
Running is, of course, more strenuous than walking and if you’re just starting out, your body can take a while to build up the strength it needs. Running every other day will allow your muscles to recover, but that doesn’t mean you have to be inactive on non-running days. Walking can be a good way to keep active, while lessening the impact on your muscles, and still building up your fitness.
If you’re working in a career where creativity is needed, it can be tempting to stay at your desk and wait for inspiration to strike. However, walking has been proven to improve creativity by an average of 60%, compared to just sitting. So, if you need to be inspired, walking might seem like a distraction, but it could kickstart your brain.
As walking or running leads to a physical improvement in your body and fitness levels, your confidence will increase. By setting yourself small goals, each time you reach your target you’ll feel more confident at achieving them and seeing the physical improvements while feeling much better in yourself.
If you have low self-confidence or suffer from anxiety, these improvements will also benefit you and lower your anxiety levels. The hard part is pushing yourself to get outside, but once you’ve made that leap, you will start to feel better for it. To ease yourself into it, try walking or running at quieter times of the day, so long as the area is safe to do so.
It’s also a great way to start the day, wake up your body and mind, and prepare yourself for the day ahead. If you’re short on time, walking part of the way to work can make you feel like you’ve achieved something even before your working day has officially begun.
So, just take the first step and enjoy.