Let's Get Moving: National Walking Day
Posted on by Isabelle Brown
On the first Wednesday in April, the American Heart Association sponsors National Walking Day. This annual event is meant to motivate people of all ages to get out and walk, and to remind us of the many, many benefits of walking.
Physical Health Benefits
According to Better Health, the simple act of walking increases muscle strength and endurance, and is an effective exercise in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s also one of the easiest workouts to fit into your daily routine and lifestyle. You can squeeze it into small moments, like walking up and down your stairs for a few minutes a day, walking to a local shop instead of driving, or taking a walk with a friend. Walking for 30 minutes every day strengthens your lungs, joints, circulation, muscles, and mind!
Mental Health Benefits
Besides being a great way to maintain a healthy body, walking holds a lot of benefits for your mind. It’s a natural and human action to walk and explore. When you move your body, your mind begins to clear as your muscles warm up. Even a leisurely walk in the park can make a world of difference for stress and anxiety. Walking lightens your mood and improves your sleep, which has a massive impact on the way you feel in your day-to-day life.
Taking a walk has a greater impact than most people consider. When you choose to walk, even if you have no destination in mind, you are a part of the effort toward creating a sustainable community. More walkers in urban areas creates a quieter environment, taking away from the bustle and noise of busy streets. Walking within your community is a resourceful use of space, and seeing people walking can spread joy and activity more than you may think. With more people walking, an area appears safe and comfortable for others to explore as well. You never know who you may inspire when you walk around your neighborhood!
Walking and Inclusivity
Living in a walkable neighborhood is not accessible to everyone, unfortunately. In areas affected by social barriers, the benefits of walking are out of reach for many Americans. We encourage you to learn more about inequities in infrastructure investments in communities of color at AmericaWalks.org.