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It is the most basic kind of exercise, but it is also one of the most beneficial to the entire body and mind. The Chinese phrase “a thousand miles begin with a single step” could not be more appropriate.

Walking helps control weight. According to a 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine study, a 30-minute daily walk, for example, can help maintain weight loss and avoid weight gain. Walking at one's own pace, according to researchers, is adequate to burn fat.

What else does walking accomplish? Walking every day has been connected to a slew of unexpected benefits. A study published in Scientific Reports connects walking, creativity, and happiness.

It will increase your longevity

Walking every day can help you live a longer life. According to researchers, the average daily step count is 4,400. For four years,a JAMA Internal Medicine study followed elderly women and concluded that there was a "significantly lower risk of death."

The study also found that everyday walking has a health benefit plateau of roughly 7,500 steps. It's nice not to have to walk all day. It only takes 4,000-5,000 steps to complete, versus the “10,000 steps” that have been trending in health media the last few years.

It Helps Avoid Depression

When we're upset, we feel as though we’re stuck in quicksand - even a little movement helps. Walking can boost mental health, according to a Harvard study published in JAMA Psychiatry. A regular hour of walking can cut the risk of depression in half.

Each substantial increase in objectively measured physical activity reduced the likelihood of being depressed by 26%. Replace 15 minutes of sitting with 15 minutes of running, or an hour of sitting with an hour of brisk walking, for example. Moderate leisure walking can also improve general mental health in seniors.

It Sharpens The Mind

Walking keeps your mind sharp and lowers the chance of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Brisk walking enhances the hippocampus and daily walking improves memory function in the elderly. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine linked physical activity to improved general cognitive functioning after the age of 50.

It keeps the heart strong and healthy

Our cardiovascular and pulmonary systems grow increasingly important as we age. They affect our risk of contracting diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure.

This study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine backs up the cardiovascular benefits of walking. Walking raises healthy blood pressure, total cholesterol, and resting heart rate, according to a study of 42 previous research involving nearly 2,000 people.

It Increases Muscle And Bone Strength

Muscles and bones deteriorate with age and inactivity causes rapid muscle loss. Walking helps slow down the passage of time without causing joint pain. It therefore provides adequate resistance to create/maintain muscle mass and less likely to cause harm than more strenuous workouts.

The American Journal of Medicine says that  people over 50 who walk at least one mile each day have increased bone density. Walking also helps prevent bone loss in the legs.

For those looking to stay at optimal health and increase longevity but may be daunted by – or simply not ready for - strenuous workouts, walking is an easy first “step”.

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