Posted on March 02 2023
More and more people are looking for ways to improve their health and overall well being. With this trend growing we are seeing running and walking emerge as one of the most popular health and fitness goals, and for good reason! Running and walking can provide a host of physical and psychological benefits, making them an ideal way to kick off your health and fitness journey. Here are five reasons why running and walking should be part of your health goals.
- Increase Strength and Weight Loss: Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise such as walking and running can lead to increased muscle mass, increased aerobic fitness, and reduced body fat. This can lead to improved physical performance and better overall health. For more inspiration and practical advice on maintaining consistency in your exercise routine, check out this article from Blended Athletics that showcases the impact of consistent exercise on an individual's four-year health journey.
- Improve Functional Capacity of Daily Activities: In addition to the physical benefits, running and walking can also improve your functional capacity. This means that regular aerobic exercise can help to improve how well you are able to perform activities of daily living. For instance, aerobic exercise can help enhance your ability to walk up stairs, carry groceries, or do other activities that require physical exertion. Regular aerobic exercise can also help with the progress of balance, coordination, and overall fitness, which can lead to improved physical performance in other activities. Additionally, aerobic exercise can help to improve your overall stamina and endurance, which can help you to stay active longer. In fact a study published in Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that runners tend to live longer than those who don’t perform this form of exercise regularly.
- Long-term Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise: Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. It can also help your day to day health. The British Journal of Sports Medicine claims that those who feel they are about to catch a cold can go for a quick 30-minute workout to stimulate their immune system. The study showed 43% of individuals who were suffering from respiratory tract infection had less severity of their symptoms when compared to those who were non-runners.
- Reduce Stress: One of the most overlooked benefits of running and walking is the psychological benefits. Exercise can reduce stress levels and improve overall mood. Studies have shown that exercise can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can even help to improve sleep quality.
- Improved Overall Mental Health: Exercise can enhance cognitive performance and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Additionally, regular aerobic exercise can lead to better self-esteem, increased energy levels, and improved concentration. The University of Michigan conducted a study which stated that individuals who went through a stressful period in their life can benefit greatly and experience better moods and lowered depression levels after a long, peaceful walk.
Overall, running and walking can provide a host of physical and psychological benefits, making them ideal activities for starting your health and fitness goals off right. By setting achievable running and walking goals, participants can reap the many benefits of aerobic-based exercise and start the New Year off on the right foot.
1) Blended Athletics. (2022). The Long-Term Benefits of Consistent Exercise. [online] Available at: https://www.blendedathletics.com/journal-1/consistent-exercise
2) Chakravarty, E. F., Hubert, H. B., Lingala, V. B., & Fries, J. F. (2008). Reduced disability and mortality amongst ageing runners: a 21-year longitudinal study. Archives of Internal Medicine. [online] Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18695077/
3) Sheinboim, D., Parikh, S., Manich, P., et al. (2022). An Exercise-Induced Metabolic Shield in Distant Organs Blocks Cancer Progression and Metastatic Dissemination. American Association for Cancer Research. [online] Available at:
4) Nieman, D. C., Henson, D. A., Austin, M. D., Sha W. (2010). Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine. [online] Available at: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/12/987.short?rss=1
5) Childs, E., & de Wit, H. (2014). Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Frontiers in Physiology. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4013452/
6) Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, S., et al. (2018). Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits. Frontiers in Psychology. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934999/
7) Bailey, L., (2018). Study suggests people should get moving to get happier. Michigan News. [online] Available at https://record.umich.edu/articles/study-suggests-people-should-get-moving-get-happier/