Fall into Walking for Low-Impact, High-Benefit Results

As cool evenings and shorter days approach, we anticipate the richness of Autumn, in all its majestic color and beauty. This transitional season is a great time to be outdoors, and provides a valuable wellness benefit—walking. Walking offers a significant return on investment, and doesn’t cost anything but a little time.

As we age we need more exercise. Physical activity helps to prevent bone loss, increase muscle strength, and reduce the risk of several other diseases associated with aging. Being physically active is a key to maintaining a higher quality of life and independence. Walking improves fitness, physical function, and prevents physical disability for aging adults. For older adults, moderate activity can come from longer sessions of walking or swimming, shorter sessions of vigorous walking or stair climbing.

It is recommended that adults participate in moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Walking has the lowest impact on bones and joints, and often is an easy form of exercise to blend into your day at the office, factory or wherever you work, as well as a great family activity on the weekends.

Benefits of walking:

  • Reduced risk of coronary heart disease, and improved blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and blood lipid profile
    Women in a recent health study (72,488 female nurses) who walked at least three hours per week reduced their risk of heart attack and other coronary illnesses by 35% compared to those who did not walk.
  • Maintain body weight and lower risk of obesity
    Walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism.
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis
    Walking is effective in decreasing the rate of bone loss in the legs.
  • Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
    Women who walked briskly at least two hours weekly decreased their breast cancer risk by 18%. Routine walking can also help to prevent colon cancer and improve the quality of life of colon cancer survivors.
  • Reduced risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes (Type 2)
    A formal diabetes prevention program showed that walking 150 minutes per week and losing 7% of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58%.
  • Enhanced mental well-being
    Research has shown that depression is lowered 47% in those moderately physically active for 30 minutes, three to five times a week, after 12 weeks.

Walking is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to stay fit. It’s very versatile, and can be completed indoors or outdoors—alone or with others. You can walk before or after work, during lunch, in the evenings, on weekends or whenever it’s most convenient, and join in this healthy, relaxing activity.

Be sure to check out the CBIA Healthy Connections wellness program at your company’s next renewal. Employees in this program have access to tools and information that can help improve their overall physical and mental well-being. The program is free to both you and your employees as part of your participation in CBIA Health Connections!