Walking, underrated exercise with clear benefits

Sophomore+Ryan+Kunst+on+Mar.+6+on+a+walk+before+baseball+practice.

Photo by Maya Erd

Sophomore Ryan Kunst on Mar. 6 on a walk before baseball practice.

It’s March now. New Year’s resolutions are fading away. Those who committed to going to bed earlier are awake until 2 a.m.. Those who bought a gym membership rarely use it anymore. However there is a beneficial habit that is easier to manage: walking.

The goal of exercising every day does not necessarily mean going to a gym every day, or even ever. It does not have to mean running 10 miles a day. Exercising every day can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes, five days a week. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for 150 to 300 minutes a week, so 30 minutes of brisk walking for five days a week gets you into the low end of that range,” according to Today. 

Walking every day has proven health benefits, mentally and physically. Physically, walking just 30 minutes a day can improve your mood, strengthen your muscles and bones, improve balance and coordination and prevent heart conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Walking is also a great excuse to go outside and get fresh air, especially during the colder winter months. Walking is possible in any season, just layer up. “I used to go for walks with my family and dog after school in the fall when it was warm, but it started getting really cold so I dreaded these walks. I did not walk for a month or so but I just learned to layer up better and am still comfortable on these cold walls,” sophomore Ethan Goldstein said.

On the mental side of it, walking can clear the mind. If you have a big test or an interview and you need to get your nerves out, walking is an efficient way to do this. Walking is also natural medicine for dealing with depression and sadness. “Many physicians recommend adding regular walking and exercise as a natural treatment to relieve a bout of depression. The cause of depression is related to brain chemistry. By getting your brain to release more of the happy chemicals — the endorphins — you achieve naturally what many prescription drugs and herbs try to do artificially,” according to VeryWellFit. 

I like to go for a walk before baseball practice because it motivates me more to get my homework done once I am home.”

— Ryan Kunst

As if the list of benefits couldn’t go on. Walking also increases productivity. Getting a walk done is already a task completed for the day and finishing the walk is satisfying. This encourages people to continue completing tasks throughout the day. “I like to go for a walk before baseball practice because it motivates me more to get my homework done once I am home,” sophomore Ryan Kunst said.

Whether it is walking at a 25-minute pace or a 14-minute pace, alone or with a friend, do what is best and what feels right for your body.