20+ Benefits Of Walking 30 Minutes a Day

Walking is an excellent way to improve or maintain your general health. Health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat and increase muscle strength and endurance. It can also help you to reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. Unlike other forms of exercise, the health benefits of walking daily is immense and it is free and does not require any special equipment or training.

Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive people found that even a low level of exercise, about 75 minutes per week, significantly improved their fitness levels, compared to a group without exercise.

Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of the day and can be done at your own pace. You can go out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly or have not exercised in a long time.

Walking for fun and fitness is not limited to walking alone through the streets of local neighborhoods. There are several clubs, places and strategies you can use to make walking a pleasant and social part of your lifestyle. You can also reap the benefits of walking on the treadmill.

What are the health benefits of walking

While walking, you are required to carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as exercise with weights. Some of the benefits of walking daily include:

  • reduction in the risk of heart disease and/or stroke
  • has shown appreciable improvement in blood pressure
  • helps to maintain weight
  • can aid to increase HDL and tilt the balance of cholesterol ratio (ratio of total cholesterol to HDL)
  • can help to give a boost to your immune system
  • gets the blood pumping inside your body
  • can help a lot to prevent obesity
  • increases functioning of the lungs
  • aids in the reduction of risk of cancer
  • increases body’s access to Vitamin D
  • can drastically improve your quality of sleep
  • improves co-ordination and balance
  • reduces chance of diabetes
  • strengthens bones and muscles
  • positively aids in reducing stress levels
  • greatly increases your energy levels
  • walking can spark creativity in you
  • helps to boost your mood
  • can aid to reduce your anxiety
  • gives you time to practice self care
  • improves the general quality of life

Health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day

To get health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as energetically as you can most days of the week. “Brisk” means you can still talk but can not sing, and you may be huffing and puffing a little. Moderate activities, such as walking, pose little risk to health, but to be doubly sure, if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Building the tempo of physical activity in your life

If at the beginning it is too difficult to walk for 30 minutes at a time, do small regular sessions (10 minutes) three times a day and gradually increase to longer sessions. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you will have to do physical activity for more than 30 minutes each day. You can still achieve this by starting with small episodes of activity throughout the day and increasing these as your physical condition improves.

Some suggestions to increase daily physical activity to effectively reduce weight and lead an active lifestyle for sedentary workers are given below. This will also aid you in maintaining weight once it is lost.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator (at least part of the way).
  • Get off the public transport at least a stop before your stop and walk towards your place of work or home.
  • take a brisk walk (do not drive) to local stores.
  • Walk your or your neighbor’s dog
  • drink plenty of water as it not only reduces the feeling of hunger but it can also aid in reducing that chronic back pain of yours
  • volunteer to clean your home regularly
  • take up gardening and yard work as an activity
  • go for “family walk” after dinner
  • instead of “meeting over the lunch” try to have a “meeting over a walk”

Health benefits of walking daily

For most people, there is little difference in the amount of energy used when walking a kilometer or running a kilometer; it’s just that walking takes more time. To increase your efficiency of walking, plan to cover a pre determined distance each day and closely monitor how long you take to walk that distance. As your physical condition improves, you can cover a longer distance and use more energy.

Walking fast burns more calories per hour than walking slowly, but this does not mean that you have to work hard until you are out of breath. Instead, keep up the pace so you can still talk. This simple rule of thumb means that you walk safely within your target heart rate, which produces health benefits.

Our bodies tend to get used to physical activity, so continue to increase your intensity as you can improve your fitness levels. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:

  • climbing a slope, hills or a mountain
  • increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate pace
  • walk with hand weights
  • walking for more time
  • Increase your walking speed gradually including some quick movements

Very important to warm up and cool down after walking

The best and easiest way to warm up is to walk slowly. Begin each walk at a leisurely pace so that your muscles warm up and then increase your speed. Then, gently stretch the muscles of the legs, especially the calves and the front and back thighs. Stretches should be maintained for about 20 seconds. If you feel pain, relieve the stretch. Do not bounce or shake, or you could stretch the muscle tissue too much and cause microscopic tears, which leads to muscle stiffness and sensitivity.

It is best to dress lightly when doing physical activity. Dressing too warm can increase sweating and increase body temperature, which can make you feel uncomfortable during the walk or cause skin irritation. A gradual cooling will also prevent muscle stiffness and injuries.

Walking shoes

Walking is a form of effective and inexpensive exercise. However, the wrong type of shoe or walking can cause pain in the foot or shin, blisters and soft tissue injuries. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, with the proper supports for the heel and arch. Take light and easy steps and make sure your heel is touching before the toes. Whenever possible, walk on grass instead of concrete to help absorb the impact. You may consider selecting one of the best and high quality top selling walking shoes here.

How to make walking pleasurable and interesting

Here are some suggestions to help make regular walking a pleasurable form of physical activity include:

  • varying where you walk
  • walking the dog
  • walking with friends
  • Join a walking club.
  • If you want to stay close to your home and limit your walk to the streets of the neighborhood, choose different routes so you do not get tired of seeing the same views.
  • If you feel insecure walking alone, look for one or more friends or family members with whom to walk.
  • Walk at various times of the day. The views in the early morning are different from the afternoon or evening.
  • Drive to different reservations, park the car and enjoy the views as you walk.
  • Explore what is happening around you, observe the sky, the people, the sounds.
  • Schedule a regular family walk: this is a great way to transmit healthy habits to your children or grandchildren, and spend time together, while getting fit at the same time.
  • If you are walking with children, make sure the route and time of stay are appropriate for your age.
  • Babies and toddlers enjoy long walks in the stroller. Take the opportunity to point out items of interest to young people, such as vehicles, flowers and other pedestrians.
  • Look for self-guided nature walks that have been established in many parks. Younger children enjoy looking for the next numbered pillar or light post;while the elders can learn about the plants and animals of the park, and maybe take pictures or record their experience in other ways.
  • Ask your neighbors or friends if they would like to join you on their walks.
  • Think about starting a group walking.

 

Safety precautions and suggestions while walking

Walking is generally a safe way to exercise, but keep in mind the unexpected dangers. Suggestions include:

  • Consult your doctor for a medical checkup before starting a new fitness program, especially if you are over 40, overweight or have not exercised in a long time.
  • Choose walks which suit your age and fitness level. Warm up and relax with a slow, gentle walk to get in and out of your workout.
  • You should be wearing loose, comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear to avoid blisters and shin splints.
  • consider wearing sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat to avoid sunburn.
  • Wear waterproof clothing to avoid getting wet if it rains.
  • Take a cane or umbrella to defend against hostile and unleashed dogs.
  • Before hiking, check the weather forecast and take the appropriate safety measures (for example, pack the correct clothes).
  • Watch for hazards in alpine or coastal areas, such as cliff edges or large waves.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, bring water with you.

Remember the benefits of walking daily

Regardless of anybody’s shape or size, it has been proved that physical activity adds years to our life and life to our years.

But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not limited to the exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be to increase the amount of low intensity physical activity you do during the day.

For example, simply increasing the number of steps you take each day is very likely to reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is not yet known if this physical activity of light intensity can reduce body weight, but it is clear that people who perform high amounts of light intensity physical activity are much healthier than those who do not. In fact, there is good evidence to suggest that simply reducing the amount of time spent sitting each day can reduce the risk of death independently of other lifestyle factors.

Hence, please ensure to walk at least 30 minutes every day to reap the benefits of walking 30 minutes a day. Comment below with your experiences of walking and we will be glad to hear your progress.

COMMENTS

  • Strahinja

    Wow, I loved your article. I did not even know how much a 30 minute walk can improve your health. I am really amazed. Heart diseases are very often and they are usually caused by inactivity.

    However, I was unaware that just walking can help you. I always knew that people recommend sport activity for a reason. Just as of recently, I started working an office job and I am really tired after work and I am lacking the energy. It must be connected to walking.

    I will start going on regular walks every day. Thank you for this amazing post.

    Strahinja

    • GeeEss

      Hey,

      Thanks for checking out my post and sharing your thoughts and YES you should immediately start walking every day my friend.

  • Justin

    This is a great article, I walk my dog every day for about 30min and definitely see some of these benefits.

  • This is great!! Walking is the best kind of exercise for me. I feel so much better after I’ve walked. I try to walk the 30 minutes 5 days a week. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t. I know I do other forms of exercise and it doesn’t make me feel as engergized as walking. Thanks for the great information.

  • Ron

    Excellent article. There is little doubt that the right diet along with the right exercise is essential. The latter is well explained here. I still exercise and I am 80 and along with the natural minerals I add to my ‘proper diet’ I am still quite healthy.

  • Darryl

    Hi GeeEss,

    Thanks for the article, it’s really informative. I started walking on a daily basis about a year ago, gradually making my way to around an hour at a brisk pace. I ended up taking off around 10kg and felt fitter than I’ve ever been before, even at 40 years old! It really changes your whole life, providing you with so much extra energy, even during the day, helping improve concentration at work while still being fresh to spend quality time with the kids when I get home.

    I think it’s such a great idea and yet so simple and I agree that everyone should try to walk regularly in order to improve both their physical and mental states!

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Darryl

    • GeeEss

      Thanks a lot Darryl for taking the time out and writing back. 

      Yes. Half and hour to one hour of walk daily will go a long way to revitalise your body and mind and there should be no doubt about that. 

      Gee Ess

  • Ali

    What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for about benefits of walking and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for benefits of walking.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to read your new posts.)

    Thanks!

  • Charlie

    Hi great post on a great subject, i particularly like what you said about the benefits of walking and agree on the point that it aids in reduction of the risk of heart disease and/or stroke.

    For me it has shown appreciable improvement in blood pressure and helped a lot to maintain weight.

    Thanks

  • Chris

    I think walking is a great way for older generations to get some cardio into their day with very little risk to their health. As you point out, it’s important to walk briskly to drum up a minor sweat – make sure your heart is pumping as you go. 

    If I wanted to walk to lose weight – what distance and time scale would you recommend?

    • GeeEss

      Fully agree with you Chris. Walking is a great exercise for all and it is important to do brisk walking and not a stroll.

      Now coming to your question about the distance and time you need to walk if you want to lose weight. 

      Walking really helps you lose weight by burning calories. The amount of the calories you burn while walking depends on how much you walk and at what pace you walk on a daily basis. It is believed that if you walk at a common speed of about 4 miles in an hour, you can burn approximately 400 calories every hour. One can lose around 20 pounds of body weight in less than 5 months walking.

      BTW Chris, how much weight do you want to lose? I can suggest some additional ways to achieve your target sooner. Will be happy to help.

      Gee Ess

  • Chris

    thank you for this great article you have really clearly set out the benefits of walking for 30 minures per day. I know that it is something which i need to do more of, i suffer from so many aches and pains that it can be hard to get out but i am sure that it wuld be of great benefit

  • Chandra

    This is very helpful! I try to get 30 minutes a day in, as I sit at a desk all day. Reading the benefits of doing so is some good motivation to keep at it and try harder!

  • BEazzy Shifts

    Hello GeeEss. Thank you for sharing this health beneficial post. These 20+ benefits of walking 30 minutes a day are what I am enjoying. As a student, I walk alot. I do walk most times from Hostel to Class to Library and even to church.  Want to know if there are negative effects of walking too much. Sincerely speaking, I walk alot.

    • GeeEss

      Thank you my friend for your kind post. I am really happy that you liked my article. And NO there is no negative effects of walking if you have consulted your doctor in advance and are taking precautions mentioned. 

      GeeEss

  • victor lavaza

    Hi GeeEss, great post you have here. Many thanks for sharing, very helpful. I couldn’t imagine just walking half an hour per day could have so many health benefits. I haven’t been doing much walking but now, I must do it. I will employ your strategy to start slow, with smaller walking sessions as I build my tempo towards at least 30 mins walk every day.

    I want to add years to my life, and life to my years, so yes am going to do this.

    Best regards

  • Jeff

    Great article. Thanks for the information. I try to walk every day at work. I use it to refocus my thoughts and for peaceful positive affirmations. I note you mention that drinking water helps with lower back pain. Can you elaborate on that? I was not aware of this particular benefit of drinking water.

  • Mary Ann

    Hello GeeEss. Wow, thanks for all this great information. I LOVE walking and it is my number one exercise routine (although I have been doing a bit of biking lately). What I love about walking is that 30 minutes is not a lot of time to take out of your day, other than good walking shoes, it is inexpensive, and the health benefits are phenomenal, all of which you have mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

    • GeeEss

      Thanks Mary Ann  for showering your love here.

      Biking is also a very good all round exercise. 30 minutes walking should be the very first stage for a person who has been leading a very sedentary lifestyle for long. Once s/he is comfortable with it one may consider light jogging with free hand exercise and may be later start biking.

      Gee Ess

  • Melissa

    Thanks for the reminder that  gentle exercise such as walking can have significant health benefits. I know in the past I’ve thought that I need to do vigorous exercise like working out the gym or aerobics to experience real health benefits. The problem with that is that I never do it. It all sounds too hard and too daunting, and frankly not an activity I feel like I want to do. And of course you’re right – being active through walking is an excellent way to derive health benefits. It’s a good reminder to us all that it’s being active that counts, and being active has benefits. It doesn’t need to be in a formal setting such as a gym. Thanks 

  • Mariah

    I loved the list of suggestions for how to naturally increase physical activity in your lifestyle for sedentary workers. I most often work in the outdoors and spend a lot of time walking and hiking, usually several miles a day. However I am between jobs right now and working on setting up my own online business. Suddenly I have become sedentary and I don’t really feel equipped to deal with it. I am used to having physical activity built in and having to actually think and plan for it has just not been on my radar. I’m working on it though. 

    Do you have any suggestions to help people who live in very cold areas? It’s not always easy to walk outside when the temps are below freezing!

    • GeeEss

      Hi Mariah.

      Thanks for writing back.

      Did you ever consider a treadmill? It is a very good equipment for walking indoors.

      Gee Ess

  • Stephen

    Hey GEEESS,

    Thanks for this informative and useful article. You did some good job here. I know very well that walking is a form of exercise, but I never knew it could be so beneficial to our health. The list of 20+ benefits you gave really make sense.

    I used to do some vigorous exercise, I was jogging almost every morning and I felt very fit by then. but my schedule nowadays has made it very difficult for me to engage in this for of exercise. So, I glad I found this article about that talks about a different way of exercising.

    Now I know that it is not just about doing some vigorous exercise alone that will show that I have exercise, but even just some simple walk is a good way of exercising my body. Thanks a lot for sharing. I will try this 30 minutes walks every single day and see how it works out for me.

    • GeeEss

      Thank You Stephen for showering the love here.

      Yes vigorous exercises like jogging definitely helps. But people who are transitioning from a complete sedentary lifestyle to a more active one, the senior citizens and people who are overweight, needs to be very careful before starting to jog. Jogging might induce injuries to the ankles, knees etc. for them. It is better to start walking for a few days, build the tempo then shift to a slow jog and then slowly pickup speed.

      Gee Ess

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