Before, we walked to the letterbox to collect the post. Now it arrives in our pocket on our mobile. We don’t even need to walk around the shop to buy food – it comes to our door. Studies show that as many as 40 per cent of all adults don’t walk at all, and as technology makes our daily life easier, this number is growing.
The most effective way to become healthier and have a longer life is to exercise. That’s probably not a secret, but the fact that a brisk 30 minute walk goes a long way should be emphasised more.
According to Anders Hansen, consultant psychiatrist who wrote the book Hjärnstark (mental strength), people who exercise for half an hour every day live on average five years longer. That’s good news – because that is news that most of us can live up to!
Look at the benefits of a short daily walk!
1. You sleep better!
A morning walk can make it easier to sleep at night! That has been shown by a study published in the journal Sleep. After 16 weeks of morning walks (of approx. 30 min) about three times a week, the people in the study slept as much as 46 minutes longer per night.
2. As healthy as running
Do you think it takes blood, sweat and tears on the running track for exercise to have the right effect? Time to rethink. If you burn the same number of calories, the long-term health effects are the same, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School.
3. Reduces the risk of breast cancer
According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even if it’s only the odd hour a week, the risk of breast cancer is reduced with walking. The body fat decreases in line with the walks, and it’s good for the oestrogen levels. The study looked at 74,000 women aged 50-79 years. The women who succeeded in losing weight by walking reduced their risk of breast cancer by 30 per cent. And even if the women continued to be overweight, the risk of breast cancer in the women who walked still decreased by 10-20 per cent
4. Makes you happy
Walking can reduce feelings of worry, stress and depression. When you feel down, just 30 minutes of walking can make you feel a bit better!
5. Less joint ache
Brisk walks reduce the risk of joint ache and problems such as the disease arthritis. You also prevent the pain from even arising if you walk 8-10 km a week.
6. Improved immune defence
The best medicine against winter illnesses is walking. A study of more than 1000 men and women shows that those who walk five days a week for at least 20 minutes on each occasion had 43 per cent fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.
7. Keeps age-related diseases away
Many studies have shown that walking for just 45 minutes a week keeps the age-related disease Alzheimer’s away. Taking regular walks keeps the brain active and has also been shown to make older people more satisfied and happier.
8. Improves sex life
As we know, exercise and sexual activity are closely related. A new study of women aged 45-55 shows that walking every day increased their sex drive and satisfaction.
9. Last but not least – you don’t even need to power walk to feel better!
It is actually enough to walk 1.2 km a day at a speed of 3-4 km an hour to have positive health effects. Not bad if you are feeling a bit lazy!