Walking is usually the underrated exercise. People walk every day to get from one place to another without being aware the benefits it carries. According to the study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, those participants who walked every day for 30 minutes reduced the risk of dying by 33 percents.

Not only it will reduce the risk of various physical diseases, like a heart attack or stroke, but it also helps your mental state. Walking is a great way to calm down, gather your thoughts, filter ideas and de-stress. Another added benefit of walking is that it will tone your legs and help you lose the weight. For example, the mentioned 30-minute walk will burn 150 to 200 calories.

A great thing about walking is that it's not like other exercises. You can do it anywhere, even when you're at work. Several steps during a break will get your blood running and prevent muscle cramps from long sitting periods. After dinner walks will help you relax and fall asleep easier. Mental benefits of walking are undeniable and manifold.


Walk against dementia

A cure for dementia is not invented yet, but something as simple as walking can reduce the risk from it by even 50 percents. Based on the numerous studies, people who regularly walk show significant improvement in grey matter volumes.

"One really does not have to do that much - a 30-minute walk five days a week is something most people can achieve," says Dr Anders Hansen psychiatrist at the Karolinska Institute and author of The Real Happy Pill: Power Up Your Brain By Moving Your Body. "You don't have to run or go to the gym. Start slowly. Start by walking 5 or 10 minutes and then increase slowly to make it a habit."


It elevates your mood

Walking is a mild exercise but still, it will boost the production of endorphins. These are chemicals produced by our bodies that influence the receptors in the brain and reduce pain. However, they also have another role.

Endorphins are, also, responsible for feeling euphoric after a physical activity. This burst of positive energy is often the reason why many people return to exercise. Additionally, endorphin is a great natural medicine for depression and anxiety. Consider walking in the sun since it boosts serotonin production, a hormone responsible for happiness.


It has a calming effect

You probably heard people say that walk calms their nerves when they are nervous or upset. This is because even the mildest exercise will help you calm down and clear your mind. It triggers soothing neurons in your brain and they eliminate stress.

For example, if you are under a lot of stress it’s best to go out for a walk and then try to solve the issue. “Understanding how the brain regulates anxious behaviour gives us potential clues about helping people with anxiety disorders,” says Professor Elizabeth Gould from Princeton University. “It also tells us something about how the brain modifies itself to respond optimally to its own environment.”


Gives you control over your life

Going on everyday walks or walking holidays in Australia, for example, they create a routine. When you’re depressed or suffer from anxiety, you have a hard time to move and concentrate on things. However, you’ll be able to regain control over your life with regular walks. Once that routine is mastered, try something bigger like walking tours and keep that up, too.

You can go on these tours once a month or more if you can, but walking should be something to do every day. Don't count in those walks to the grocery store or for any other purpose than walking. In order to build your routine and stick by it, you have to walk for the mere pleasure of walking, and not anything else.


Become self-aware

Physical activity, even so, mild as walking, will help you shape your body. With appropriate meal plan and eliminating bad habits like smoking and drinking, you will be able to lose weight. This is not only important for the look but also will boost your self-esteem and make you appreciate yourself more.

Many people consider shaping their body a very important element of becoming self-aware. It helps build confidence and even the slightest change will elevate your mood. Walking may be a slower way to lose weight, but it can serve as a good preparation for those without stamina for anything more demanding.


You help the environment

By doing something meaningful and fulfilling, people feel better and proud of themselves. Walking is one of the most eco-friendly modes of transportation. You can’t travel too far by foot, but whenever you have a chance opt for a walk instead of riding a bus. Since the environment is a very important and hot issue in the last years, you will be among those who help our planet recover from its deterioration.


Walking boosts testosterone production

Low levels of testosterone can have a negative impact on mood and concentration in men. Men with low levels have sexual problems as well which further influences their behaviour and opinion about themselves. Other problems associated with low testosterone levels are poor cognitive skills, anxiety, fatigue and reduced muscle mass.

Since these are all conditions which will affect your personality and interaction with others, you will be emotionally stressed. Walking and other physical activities help production of testosterone in your body and thus relieve you from these troubles.


Walking is a physical activity great for everybody. You can do it alone or with others, take several walks a day or just one at the planned time. It is an activity which leaves enough room to organise your schedule and your lifestyle. Above all, it also has important and significant mental benefits which will help you be the kind of person you desire.

Author's Bio: 

Biologist by day, writer by night, and a huge geek. My fields of expertise could be summed up to health, fitness and nutrition-related topics. My interests are on the other hand wide and ever-evolving.