5 Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Walking | Newport Medical and Wellness Center

5 Surprising Benefits of Outdoor Walking

April 26, 2019

in Medical & Wellness, Weight Loss

Warmer weather has finally arrived, and you’re probably looking forward to spending more time outdoors. While there are many activities you could choose to do, walking may be one of the most healthy. Here are five surprising benefits regular outdoor walks can offer you.

  1. Improved Mood

Just 20 minutes of outdoor walking can boost your mood and keep it elevated for hours after you finish, according to a study published in Psychology Today. If you’re one of the approximately nine percent of adults in the U.S. who suffer from depression, this benefit can be particularly healthful for you. While the exact reason for experiencing an elevated mood during walks isn’t fully understood, the activity is shown to boost endorphins. Exposure to sunlight can also increase the amount of vitamin D your body produces, which may positively affect serotonin levels in the brain.

  1. Improved Brain Function

Moderate walking can increase blood flow to the brain by as much as 15 percent. As blood flow increases, you’ll experience greater mental clarity. Try taking a walk first thing in the morning, then completing homework or other activities that require optimal brain function immediately afterward. You’ll probably notice an increased ability to handle these types of tasks better after you’ve had physical activity.

  1. Enhanced Health

Regular walks at a moderate pace can lower your heart rate and bring your blood pressure down to a healthier range. It can also increase your overall circulation and reduce your risk of heart disease. When combined with regular preventative care services from Newport Medical & Wellness, walking promotes a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Weight Loss

When you regularly walk, you burn more calories and boost your metabolism, which can help you finally get rid of stubborn extra weight. Don’t expect to see rapid results, but steady weight loss is generally more sustainable than rapid weight loss anyway.

  1. Enhanced Self-Esteem

Walking is a great way to improve muscle mass and change the shape of your body for the better. As you work to improve your physical appearance and your overall health, you’ll inevitably experience self-esteem benefits as well. Walks are also great options for those who have joint problems or who are too heavy to participate in more vigorous, high-impact activities.

Walking is a healthy, gentle activity that can be universally enjoyed by all – regardless of fitness level. It doesn’t require any special equipment and doesn’t cost any money. If you don’t have good trails near your home, it’s worth it to drive to a park or school track so you can walk in a low-traffic area that’s peaceful and quiet.

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