What are the Benefits of Walking in the Fall?
Some of the links in my blogs may be affiliate links. See my disclaimer page for more information.
There are so many different ways you can get in exercise, but some forget the easiest and most basic is walking. There are a lot of benefits of walking especially in the Fall season. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, and most important it’s good for your health. But what exactly are the specific health benefits of walking?
I hope this article convinces you that heading out for a walk each day is a great idea and that it motivates you to stick to your walking schedule until you start to see results. If you are a beginner to exercise there are some bonus tips for you to get started at the end.
6 Benefits of Walking in the Fall
#1 Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine
No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.
Depending on where you live, you will usually find the air quality outside to be much better than the air inside your house. All Summer you’ve battled the heat with closed windows and the air conditioner on. Here in Arkansas we also had high humidity and mosquitoes. The Fall is a great time to get out of the house and into some fresh air.
Also, the sunshine outside will help your body produce the Vitamin D it needs. The days are starting to get a little shorter so the commute to and from work may not lend you enough sunshine. Getting in a walk outside will really help with that.
#2 Walking can help you with weight loss and to maintain a healthy weight
Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat. You can’t just walk off a day full of eating cookies and soda, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.
The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks, simply because you’re carrying so much weight around with you. As you start to lose the weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.
#3 Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination
As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help. But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. If you do these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day you’ll get even more benefit. Be careful not to do this too fast you could get dizzy and off balance.
#4 Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting out, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.
#5 Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression
The benefits of walking even reaches to affect you psychologically. Walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm.
#6 Walking Can Help You Lower Your Blood Pressure And Strengthen Your Heart
Another health benefit of walking is the ability to help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart. Many people at risk for stroke and heart disease are overweight, unhealthy and have a hard time exercising. Thankfully walking is an easy, low-impact workout that almost anyone can do.
The act of walking itself, particularly if you can go for a walk out in a pretty park is very relaxing and will lower your blood pressure soon after the walk. That’s a terrific benefit of walking and something that will help you feel better right away. But the benefits don’t stop there.
The regular exercise will strengthen your heart. Remember your heart is a muscle and going for a brisk walk works out more than your leg muscles. As you work out your heart, it gets stronger and better at pumping blood through your body. And as you strengthen your muscles and your body overall, you are likely losing body fat. That’s good news for your blood pressure long term. All it takes is heading out there for a short little walk each day. As you get stronger those walks will get longer and you may even give swimming or riding your bike a try.
A healthy diet, regular exercise, and losing weight are some of the most effective ways to reduce hypertension regularly. Add to that the fact that walking helps you de-stress and it’s no wonder that walking regularly has such beneficial effects on your health.
What to do next…
Start where you’re at. Just put on a comfortable pair of shoes and head out there. If all you can do is walk for five to ten minutes, start there. It’s a great start and that’s a lot more exercise than you’ve been getting. Stick with it for a week and then see if you can make it for 15 minutes.
If you can go for a 30-minute walk, start there. Pick up the pace, walk briskly and after a week or two, try to go for 45-minute walks. Or break up your walking workout into 3 shorter sessions at different times throughout your day.
If you have any health conditions and in particular, if you’re suffering from high blood pressure and are at risk for heart disease, discuss your walking plans with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a plan that’s appropriate and safe for you.
Ready to get started? Join my free 7-day step challenge starting Sunday, October 28th. I will be providing a free fitness journal/planner, step log, and lots of tips and support in the community. Join by clicking on the picture below. There will even be prizes awarded for completion. Put on your shoes and go for that first walk.