Walking: The Unknown Exercise

Walking is an underrated form of exercise. Many people I know get exercise by working out, going to the gym, running, or playing sports; however, walking is just as efficient. I try to walk every day to exercise, to de-stress, and take a break from Zoom meetings and homework. 

Walking can help you maintain a good weight, strengthen bones and muscles, improve your balance and coordination, and prevent or manage different conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type two diabetes. 

In terms of mental health, walking can:

  • improve your mood

  • relieve stress

  • increase self-esteem

  • help with sleep

  • increase your energy

  • help build resilience 

According to Help Guide, studies have shown that walking can help treat mild to moderate depression. “As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%,” Help Guide reported. They also stated that exercise is also a powerful anxiety treatment. 

Mayo Clinic suggests you set realistic goals when planning to walk. A practical goal is to walk 30 minutes each day outdoors; however, since not everyone has that much time, walking for even just a short amount of time every day is good.

College students can incorporate walking into their daily schedule in many ways, such as taking walks with friends or walking to class instead of relying on public transportation. 

I have always liked to walk, but I didn’t know about the many physical and mental health benefits until recently. I started to walk daily this last year because it makes me forget everything I am worried about for a short time, and it gives me a chance to relax.