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7 Daily Walking Benefits for a Happsier, Healthier You

Close-up of a woman's feet as she laces up her walking shoes

Exercise can be brutal, right? Weightlifting. Running. Spinning. That whole CrossFit scene … it’s intense. Still, if you’ve been part of planet Earth long enough to know how to read this blog post, you’ve undoubtedly heard that exercising regularly is important to your health and wellbeing.  

But, who has the time? Working out – especially when you factor in travel time to and from the gym – can eat up hours of your day. Plus, not everyone has the spare cash lying around for gym memberships, equipment, trainers and more. Discouraged? Don’t be! Getting more exercise may be less complicated than you think.

There’s a reason so many people wear fitness trackers to count their daily steps. Walking and health go hand in hand. The simple act of daily walking can promote weight loss, boost your mood and help you get a better night's rest. 

But, just how good for you is daily walking? And, how much is enough? Let’s break it down.

Is walking every day enough exercise?

If you are the step-tracking type, you’ve probably been told at some point to aim for 10,000 steps. Is that the right goal? There’s no quick answer. The average adult walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day. So, get a baseline first and go from there. 

A better question might be: how are you walking? Because, if you walk briskly and for at least 15 minutes without stopping, you can see some significant benefits of daily walking. Check it out!

7 Ways daily walking is good for you

Woman in a yellow jacket walking near a field of yellow flowersWoman in a yellow jacket walking near a field of yellow flowers

Adding just 15 teeny tiny minutes to your day hopefully sounds doable. Sure, adding more can have even more benefits, so if you have the time and ability, don’t hold back. But, for those just trying to squeeze any self care into their lives, here are seven reasons to get started right now. 

1. Walking promotes weight management/loss

Just like any other form of physical activity, walking burns calories. That’s right. You don’t have to run to reap the benefits of cardio if running isn’t your thing. The amount of calories you’ll burn depends on:

  • Your current weight
  • How fast you walk
  • How long you walk for 
  • The incline at which you’re walking

One thing is for certain though – getting those steps in will burn calories you wouldn’t burn sitting on the couch or at your desk. 

2. Walking gives you an energy boost

As an organic brand, we LOVE a natural approach to as many things as possible, even energy! When you’re feeling tired, do you typically reach for a cup of coffee or another caffeine source to get you through the day? 

Next time try taking a brisk walk. Walking increases levels of cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are all hormones that elevate energy levels. If you can stretch your walk time to 20-30 minutes, you’ll notice an even bigger impact. 

Close-up image of someone's feet in sneakers as they walk on the pavementClose-up image of someone's feet in sneakers as they walk on the pavement

3. Walking supports your immune system

Toss aside OTC meds and try hydrating and getting those steps in to fight off colds and flus. Implementing daily walks can actually help protect you from getting sick. This is because physical activity increases the amount of infection fighting white blood cells circulating in your blood. 

4. Walking keeps your joints, muscles and bones working

As the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Walking is an easy way to keep the body moving! This becomes even more important if you have a job that keeps you stuck in a desk chair all day.

Daily walking can relieve stiffness and pain by warming up your muscles. If you’re uncomfortable at the start, just give it a few minutes. As your body warms up, you should start feeling less stiff and ready to crush the rest of your walk. 

5. Walking improves cardiovascular health

It’s quite simple. Your heart is a muscle and muscles need to work to stay healthy.  

Walking is a physical activity that increases your heart rate, making your heart and lungs work harder than they do at rest. By walking, and by continuing to increase the intensity of your walks, you are making your heart and lungs stronger. 

A person and their dog walking outside in the snowA person and their dog walking outside in the snow

6. Walking reduces stress and improves your mood 

Another natural treasure we love: endorphins! Hands up if you’re old enough to remember Elle Woods from Legally Blonde – because our girl said it best: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” 

Sure, that last part may be irrelevant, but the rest tracks. Walking promotes the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural ‘feel good’ hormones. It’s an easy way to get your body to help you to feel less stressed and happier. 

7. Daily walking helps you sleep better

This one is near and dear to all of us at Happsy. We’re all about a good night's sleep! Your brain isn’t the only part of you that needs to be ready for rest. Your body needs a healthy cycle of work and rest, too. 

Here’s a silly analogy that makes sense. When you bring a new puppy home, you are encouraged to take it on walks to tire it out. A tired puppy is a good puppy. Why should we as people be any different? 

If you’re able to carve out just 15 minutes of self care a day in the form of walking, you really can make a noticeable difference in your physical and mental health. It’s a win-win. A healthy, happy, well-rested you is a better you. 

If you need help with that well-rested part, Happsy is here for you. Here are some tips from our friend, certified sleep coach Martha Lewis