Walking has a lot of health benefits (Photo: iStock)

We all know any form of physical activity has both physical and mental benefits for our bodies. However, due to its simplicity, walking is overlooked as a form of exercise.

In fact, most fitness experts opt for walking due to its low impact on joints and the heart. Here are some of the science-backed benefits of walking;

Keeps diabetes at bay

Increased risk for diabetes (Type 2) has been associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Scientists recommend daily walks to help control blood sugar levels which will eventually lower the risk of diabetes.

Reduce bone density loss and risk of arthritis

Walking helps in preventing loss of bone density. This will in turn keep your bones healthy and strong. As a result, your posture, coordination and stamina will improve. This will, in the long run, reduce the risk of bone disease and injury.

Daily walks will naturally lubricate the hip and knee joints. This reduces inflammation and stiffness in joints thereby reducing the pain in patients with arthritis. Doctors recommend a daily 30 to 60 minutes walk for best results.

Weight loss

Instead of driving to work or using the lift at work, try walking. Take the stairs to lose weight and keep fit. Just like any other form of exercise, you will burn up excess body fat and maintain a healthy weight.

Improves blood circulation
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Walking ensures that the brain is supplied with sufficient oxygen and glucose for optimal functioning. This reduces the chances of stroke and heart disease by decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol that clogs arteries.

Stress release

If you want to uplift your mood, try taking a walk and getting some fresh air. You will notice a big difference. Deep breathing in and out while walking helps relieve the tension. It also alleviates the production of stress hormones.

Anti-ageing

Harvard graduates conducted an interesting study that proved that students who took at least a 30-minute walk every day lived longer and looked younger as compared to sedentary students. It is an easy way to age gracefully.

Increases productivity

Just like any other form of exercise, walking will make you more agile. This will improve your productivity in terms of speed and improved memory. Since your brain will have improved blood circulation, your thinking will be more strategic while you project a much calmer image.

Lower risk of breast cancer

A study by the American Cancer Society zeroed in on walking for women with breast cancer risk factors. They found out that these women had a 14 per cent lower risk of developing breast cancer when they walked seven hours a week or more.