The Benefits of Walking
Increase your TDEE
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is where it’s at if you’re looking to increase how much energy (read: calories) your body uses on a daily basis. Consider this: With 24 hours in the day, if you workout for 1 hour, sleep for 8 hours, eat for 2 hours, that’s a potential 13 more hours that your body can be moving around. Movement takes energy. Increasing any kind of movement (not just exercise!) increases energy output.
Quiet the Mind, Think, and Reflect
I get my best ideas when I’m walking and thinking! Take the time to let your thoughts wander. Reflect on what’s happening in your life, what’s important to you, what your daily or weekly or monthly goals are. Listen to a podcast that you enjoy. Listen to an audiobook to escape from life. This can be very valuable and highly productive time.
While exercise has been proven to activate the sympathetic nervous system (your fight or flight response), walking has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (your rest and digest state). This state is associated with improved productivity, problem solving, and creativity as well as improved mood and decreased anxiety.
Walking, especially after eating, supports the body’s digestive efficiency compared to remaining sedentary after a meal.
Time in Nature
Research has proven over and over that time spent in nature has highly beneficial effects on resiliency, stress management, anxiety and depression. Breath in the fresh air, observe the space around you, notice things you haven’t noticed before, and enjoy the unstimulated state of just being outside.
Change Body Composition
Yup… it’s true… walking can help you lose weight. It does that through a combination of all the other mechanisms listed here. It’s not JUST about calories burned. It’s about promoting a restorative, relaxing, unstimulated opportunity to move your body.