According to Harvard Business Review sitting is the smoking of our generation. However, there is an easy solution: walking. Here are some of the top reasons why you should start walking today.
1. Weight Loss
A quick and easy way to lose weight is to live and work in a walkable neighborhood. On average, residents of a walkable neighborhood weigh 6 to 10 pounds less than those who live in sprawling neighborhoods that rely on driving for transportation. Walkability does not only affect the amount of walking its residence do, but overall physical activity. These higher activity levels also offset obesity in those that are genetically prone to the disease.
2. Combat Cancer
Studies show that walking on a regular basis can help reduce the risk of cancer and related death in both men and women. In women, walking 1-3 hours a week reduced their risk of cancer by 19%, while women who walked 3-5 hours a week reduced their risk by 54%.
A similar study in men showed that men who walk briskly a minimum of 3 hours a week after being diagnosed with prostate cancer reduce their chances of seeing a progression in the disease by 57%.
3. Reduce Heart Disease
Many studies have been done studying the relationship between heart disease and walking. Studies show that as the amount an individual walks increases their risk of heart disease decreases. In one study, retired men that walked more than 1.5 miles a day showed significantly lower risk levels for heart disease. Meanwhile, women walking at a pace of 3 to 4 miles an hour for 3 hours a week cuts heart disease risk by 40%.
4. Reduce Blood Pressure
Walking also reduces blood pressure which can lead to other health complications like heart disease. According to a study done by the Korean Institute of Sport Science walking, or practicing a similar exercise, 30 minutes a day and 5 times a week greatly decreases blood pressure.
5. Reduce Risk of Diabetes
Diabetes is directly linked to obesity and individuals that are overweight. Therefore, it is unsurprising that walking can greatly reduce the risk of diabetes. In a New England Journal of Medicine study, walking was linked with reduced risk of diabetes. The study found that in over 3,000 overweight adults walking for 2.5 hours a week, paired with a healthy diet, reduced their risk of diabetes by 58%. In addition, in those overweight adults 60 years and older, the risk was reduced by 71%.