Walking is one of the easiest forms of cardio most people can do. And with the benefits that come along with it, walking from home should be high on everyone’s priority. So, why should you get more steps in your day?
There is no doubt that walking is one of the things that literally saved my life in 2017. As I was having severe heart issues, getting more steps ultimately helped me stay alive. So, I do what I can to get in as much walking at home as possible.
I guess you can say that I’m a bit biased when it comes to walking. But it’s such a simple exercise that can offer a lot in the grand scheme of things.
14 Very Good Reasons for Walking at Home
Although COVID is fading away and people are getting out more, not everyone plans on leaving the house. In fact, many of us work and play right from our home offices.
But, no matter how you slice it, walking around the home offers some great benefits.
1. Easily Burns Calories
For those trying to lose weight, or if you just want to maintain, walking is one of the easiest exercises for burning calories. Simply getting up and walking to the kitchen can burn a few.
Of course, the faster you walk, the more you burn. It’s all about how high you can elevate the heart rate.
For instance, someone who walks 1,500 steps in an hour will burn fewer calories than someone who can do it in 15 minutes. In this instance, slow and steady doesn’t win any races.
2. Improves Heart Health
According to studies, putting in about 150 minutes per week walking can reduce coronary heart disease by as much as 19%. This is only 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
Remember what I was telling you about my failing heart? Well, walking is what got it back on track. I started slow by walking around at home. Then, I started increasing distance and speed gradually.
Before long, I was getting back to doing far more grueling workouts without my heart feeling “squishy” or skipping beats.
3. Immune System Booster
Walking is considered an aerobic exercise. And as such, you’ll reap many of the same benefits as any cardio routine. In this case, walking more often can lead to a strengthened immune system.
In fact, one study demonstrated 43% of adults had vastly fewer sick days from work after aerobic activities than those who were less fit.
The bottom line is that getting in more steps will make you more resistant to illness.
4. Great for Bone Health
Virtually any exercise is ideal for creating bone mass. This is because your muscle mass puts pressure on those bones. And your body begins to compensate by adding density.
This is to protect your body from snapping its own bones during physical activity.
Walking at home will help strengthen those bones, especially in your legs and pelvic region. Not to mention how it benefits the spine.
5. Improves Your Mood
Getting up and moving about can contribute to a better mindset. Of course, a lot of studies focus more on actual exercise being key to improving your state of mind.
Just getting up from your couch after binge watching something on Netflix isn’t going to be enough.
However, if you walk at home for three miles inside of 50 minutes, it may be enough of a workout to help improve your mood. You’ll also reduce stress and enhance mental alertness.
6. Helps with Sleeping
Exercise can help you get more sleep. Studies show the correlation between exercise and getting rest at night. And depending on how much you walk, it could lead to some shut-eye.
Remember, though, you need to step up the pace if you truly want to reap the benefits of walking at home. A slow, casual walk probably won’t be enough.
In fact, I think I’m going to start going for more walks in the evening. Mix in some Sleepytime Tea, and I should actually get more than 4 hours each night.
7. Gets the Creative Juices Flowing
In 2014, a paper was published showing the benefits of walking and being creative. In the study, researchers used creative-thinking tests on people both sitting and walking.
The results found that those who were walking while taking the test thought more creatively.
This is something I experience quite often, actually. I come up with my best ideas and solutions to problems while outside walking in the backyard or around the local pond.
8. Boosts Cognitive Function
Being creating and boosting your mood are only a couple of side effects of exercise. In general, working up a bit of a sweat benefits your brain’s cognitive functions.
This includes things like processing information and memory retention.
Does this mean that walking at home 30 minutes per day will instantly turn you into Albert Einstein? Absolutely not. But it will contribute greatly to the performance of your brain.
9. Increases Energy Levels
For many people, going for a nice walk can offer boosts of energy surpassing that of coffee. Well, according to a study of stair walking in sleep-deprived young women.
Still, the evidence is pretty abundant that exercise increases energy levels.
I know I feel more energized and ready to take on the day after playing the Xbox Kinect or going for a fast-paced walk first thing in the morning.
10. May Lower Your Blood Pressure
Walking can help reduce overall blood pressure and make you less susceptible to strokes. Again, this really depends on how much you push yourself to elevate that heart rate.
However, any walking at home is better than none at all.
I suppose you can chalk this up to improving the overall performance of your circulatory system, starting with how your heart operates.
11. Aiding in Digestion
Having trouble keeping yourself regular? Exercise of all kinds can help keep those bowel movements more on schedule.
As with most items on this list, helping with digestion centers around physical activity of any kind. And walking at home contributes as a form of exercise.
According to Healthline, even short amounts of activity of up to 15 minutes per day can help keep those trips to the bathroom regular.
12. Improving Your Shelf-Life
In addition to the health benefits above, walking more can generally contribute to a longer lifespan. In a study published in 2017, it was found that those in their later years lived longer while leaving the house more often.
Now, this study was performed on people 70 and up. But, it goes to show just how much of an influence getting up and moving about can have on longevity.
I suppose that could play heavily into my physical problems prior to 2017. Never leaving my chair in the basement really didn’t help my heart matters in the slightest.
13. Toning the Leg Muscles
The more you use any muscle group, the more tone and stronger they’ll become. Walking at home is why my legs are probably my best physical attribute.
I just need to work on my core.
Aside from looking nice, your legs are responsible for a lot of day-to-day activity. It only makes sense to spend a bit of time strengthening and boosting stamina to these extremities.
14. Anyone Who Can Walk Can Start Immediately
And lastly, anyone who can walk can start right now. Get up and walk around a bit. Every step you take today that is more than you did yesterday is going to help.
You don’t need any special gear, heavy weights, workout videos, or expensive treadmills. Simply put one foot in front of the other and repeat.
Though, having some nice running shoes can help tremendously for those who want to walk long distances. I busted my feet up pretty good doing a 5k walk back when I weighed a lot more than I do today.
How to Get More Steps in Your Day
Ok, walking at home provides a lot of benefits, right? So, what’s the best way to get more steps in your day? Some of us find it difficult to reach specific step goals.
Well, personally, I tend to:
Walk to the Store More Often
In reality, Walmart is about half a mile up the road. So are some of the other stores that I stop by once in a while. Instead of driving, strap on the shoes and set out.
From a single visit to the store, I can easily meet the suggested goal for time spent walking.
My point is that if there is a store you visit that is within two miles of your location, why not walk it? Just make sure you’re being safe. Long and arduous walks in the summer heat can be deadly.
Take Regular Walking Breaks
As a desk jockey working from home, it’s hard to get out to the gym or get some quality time in town. I’m also a bit of a hermit, so that also contributes to being a homebody.
At any rate, I try to take breaks every 90 minutes and spend them walking around in the backyard. I usually stick to my Ultradian Rhythm and found this to be an excellent use of time.
I get more done without stressing out.
Plan a Nice Even Stroll Around the Neighborhood
A nice evening stroll around the neighborhood can be quite serene, depending on where you live. Personally, I’m looking forward to more walks around the nearby pond.
Regardless, scheduling some time to get out of the house will do you a world of good. And it may also contribute to being more social. That is as long as your neighbors are “neighborly.”
One of my favorite times of the day is just before dusk, when the sun is going down turning the sky purple and the temperature drops to tolerable levels.
Use Fewer “Conveniences”
One of the biggest contributors to losing weight was reducing the conveniences in my life. I stopped asking kids to bring me stuff from upstairs, and the remote to my TV is next to it.
This means I need to get up off my butt and move to accomplish certain activities.
I easily get around 1000 steps per day just getting up to go get more coffee. That’s because my kitchen is about 50 feet from my office…and I drink a lot of coffee.
Plan Some Vigorous House Cleaning
One of my favorite calorie-burning activities is putting in some vigorous house cleaning. Coincidentally, it can also rack up the steps.
I set a timer for 20 minutes and track how many calories I can burn. This means pushing as hard as I can to break personal records.
Not only do I get in some walking in the home, but my house is cleaner and I’ve burnt quite a few calories in the meantime.
Walking at Home is Easy Enough
Getting in some steps around the house is one of the easiest ways to burn calories and lose weight. But, there is a slew of benefits that also come along with the activity.
If you don’t have money for a cheap home gym, walking at home is easily a quick and affordable way to improve your mental and physical health.
How many steps have you done today?