Top 10 reasons to walk on October 6
(and every day!)
Iowans are invited to walk for 30 minutes with their colleagues, classmates, friends, family members or neighbors on October 6 for the 11th Annual Healthiest State Walk! You can join us by registering a walk here.
This year – following more than a year of social distancing and disconnection – we are focusing on the social benefits of walking. Social connections not only impact your mental health, but your physical health as well – and walking is the perfect activity to re-connect.
WALK RESOURCES: Communication templates, flyers, social media posts + more!
But there are many more physical, mental, social and emotional benefits to walking. Not to mention it is one of the most affordable and accessible forms of exercise.
Here are 10 of our favorite reasons to walk on October 6:
1. Walking wards off heart disease
Walking increases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and ultimately strengthens the heart.
2. Walking helps your brain
Increased blood flow to the brain leads to better cognitive function, improved memory and overall protection against mental decline.
3. Walking lightens your mood
In a bad mood? Take a walk! Walking releases endorphins, your body's natural "happy hormones."
4. Walking keeps your moving longer
The key to maintaining mobility is regular activity. Exercise – including walking – can help slow down the aging process.
5. Walking tones your muscles
Walking tones your muscles, particularly your leg and abdominal muscles. Get your arms in the action by pumping them while you walk!
6. Walking can help your mental health
Studies show walking can help reduce anxiety and depression. It can also boost self-esteem and reduce symptoms of withdrawal.
7. Walking increases energy levels
Walking increases oxygen flow through the body, boosting levels of hormones that help elevate energy levels.
8. Walking supports your joints
Walking compresses the cartilage in your joints, circulating joint fluid and keeping joints healthy.
9. Walking improves your sleep
A study published recently in the Sleep Health journal found that when adults increase the time they spend walking each day, they sleep better at night.
10. Walking helps you feel connected
Walk with others to connect with friends, family members or co-workers. Following more than a year of social distancing and disconnection, walking is a great way to re-connect.
Let's walk together in October!
Walking on October 6 is a great first step in the direction towards better health and social connectedness. Set a goal to walk every day in the month of October! Use this "Walk Together in October" calendar to help keep you on track and remind yourself of all the health benefits of walking daily.
Sources: Arthritis Foundation, Sleep Health, HealthLine, Harvard Health