Walking is good for your body and mind and especially your heart. A recent Harvard study shows that walking at a moderate pace (3 mph) for up to 3 hours a week—or 30 minutes a day–can cut the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40%. This is the same benefit you would get from aerobics, jogging, or other vigorous exercise. The benefits to men are comparable.
Along with its benefits to the heart, walking:
- improves circulation
- helps breathing
- combats depression
- bolsters the immune system
- helps prevent osteoporosis
- helps prevent and control diabetes
- helps control weight (see below)
Studies have also shown that people are most likely to stick to exercise when it is part of their daily lives. Walking is an ideal exercise for everyone, and most people can take some of their trips on foot—to work, school, the store, church, or the movies. This enables people to incorporate walking into activities they would be doing anyway.