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15 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Walking That Might Surprise You

By Milos Kitanovic, 24 June 2018

Who would have thought that activity so simple as walking can do wonders for your overall health? Yeah, you heard it right. Because as far as Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal is concerned, walking can do just that, no matter if we are talking about regulating your blood pressure, getting rid of any kind of chronic disease, or boosting the immune system in general.

With only these benefits in mind, we can pretty much agree that walking really is a "wonder drug" as it is called by doctors and physicians alike. And while sometimes even the light strolls can help, the benefits of walking at a bit faster pace is what this article is really about. With that said, let's hop right in into 15 scientifically proven benefits of walking that might actually surprise you.

1Walking reduces your blood pressure

If you are having trouble with hypertension, then you should know that a study, conducted by the Korea Institute of Sports Science, showed that just 40 minutes of daily walking could reduce the blood pressure level significantly. On top of that, the study also proved that it's better to walk these 40 minutes all at once (in this case the blood pressure dropped 5 points) than to take four separate 10-minute walks (only a 3-point drop.)

This, of course, comes as no surprise, knowing that the more you walk, the faster your heart beats, pumping more blood as a result. Eventually, your heart will be able to pump more blood with less effort, which will ultimately result in lower blood pressure.

Walking reduces your blood pressure

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2Walking reduces the risk of breast cancer

A sedentary lifestyle is a number one ally of breast cancer. And on top of that, the researchers of the American Cancer Society have concluded that if you walk for a total of seven hours in a week than you'll reduce the chances to get breast cancer after menopause by 14%. And if you by any chance, decide to walk at a faster pace, then you are 25% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Walking reduces the risk of breast cancer

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3It prevents type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is, without a doubt, one of the most common diseases out there, and its exponential growth is mostly caused by a sedentary lifestyle. That's why the study was conducted in 2012, that showed that walking 3,000-7,500 steps a day could help you a great deal when it comes to treating as well as preventing type 2 diabetes.

It prevents type 2 diabetes

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4Helps produce Vitamin D

Want to get Vitamin D that you so desperately need? Well, what better way to do just that than by walking in the morning. Don't get us started on the crucial benefits of this essential vitamin, because not only does it strengthen the bones, but it also prevents cancer. So we can't think of a better way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D than taking a 15-30 minutes walks when the sun is still out.

Helps produce Vitamin D

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5Walking will get your creative juices flowing

If you are like most people than you probably feel stuck at work every once in a while. So much so that no matter what you do you can't seem to find a solution to that particular problem or come up with some new ideas if you are into creative work. Don't you worry, though, because all you got to do, at least according to Stanford University researchers, is to take a simple walk, which will improve both convergent and divergent thinking which will in turn instantly increase your creativity. And if you are still having a hard time believing there is a connection between walking and creativity you should know that both Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, and the late Apple CEO, Steve Jobs held meetings with their associates outside while taking a walk. And that's got to count for something.

Walking will get your creative juices flowing

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6Walking strengthens your immune system

If the study conducted at Appalachian State University in North Carolina is to be believed, 30-45 minutes daily walk increases the amount of your immune system cells, which in the long run, results in increasing your body's ability to fight disease. And if you want to go into specific numbers, just know that taking a 20-minute daily walk could reduce the risk of getting sick by 43%.

Walking strengthens your immune system

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7Walking can control those nasty sugar cravings

Are you tired of those nasty sugar cravings that keep preventing you from ever reaching your weight loss and fitness goals? Do you want them to keep them under your control, so they could stop ruining your health? Then you should know that it was scientifically confirmed that walking could help you a great deal in reducing these cravings. Because, according to a study conducted by the University of Exeter, not only does even the shortest of walks curb your cravings, but it also reduces the number of sweets you consume during the day and especially in these stressful situations. With that said, whenever you are feeling stressed out, consider going for a walk instead of eating candy. If only it could be that simple, huh? Try it, it doesn't cost a dime, and you could actually end up saving a lot of money.

Walking can control those nasty sugar cravings

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8It slows down the aging process

Do you want to live a long and prosperous life and slow down the aging process? Yes? And so does everyone else. Sure, it's easier said than done, but the good news is that walking can help you a great deal in achieving this goal. So no matter how old you are, it's never late to start walking daily and avoid the loss of mobility at old age.

It slows down the aging process

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9It helps you lose weight

It's no secret that any type of physical activity is pretty useful when it comes to losing weight. But did you know that walking could actually be the most efficient of them all? Because, unlike running, for example, walking goes easy on your heart, and not to mention the fact that it puts less pressure on your joints. As a result, it has a larger impact on your overall health. On top of that, a study conducted by the researchers from the University of Utah found that every minute of energetic walk lessens the risk of obesity by 5%.

It helps you lose weight

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10Walking prevents memory loss

As curious as it may sound, walking can actually help you prevent memory loss and dementia. The reasons for this lies in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF for short,) a protein that encourages the growth of new brain cells. The thing is that every time we walk, this protein is being released, so it comes as no surprise that it walking has such a positive impact on our brain.

Walking prevents memory loss

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11Walking improves circulation

It's of high importance that our brain receives the required amounts of oxygen so it can function at the high level. And not only does walking help your brain do just that, thus improving your intelligence, but it also reduces the risk of stroke and LDL cholesterol.

Walking improves circulation

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12Walking strengthens your bones

Walking is good for your bones because it prevents loss of bone density, which in turn reduces the risk of fracture or osteoporosis for that matter. And since our bones tend to get weaker as we age, it's of high importance that you include walking in your daily routine as soon as possible. Better late than never, huh?

Walking strengthens your bones

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13Walking reduces stress

Are you feeling stressed out lately? Why don't you start walking daily? Because not only does this activity provide all the nutrients and oxygen to the cells, as we already stated above, but it also decreases the production of the stress hormones.

Walking reduces stress

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14Your skin will glow

This might surprise you, but walking can actually make your skin glow, and you'll look younger, as a result. The reason for this lies in the production of collagen, the protein, released while walking, that is in charge of keeping your skin smooth and elastic.

Your skin will glow

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15 You'll be happier

If the benefits mentioned above are not good enough for you to start walking, then you should consider doing it simply because it will instantly make you happy by releasing so-called happy chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.

You

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