Everyone knows walking is great for your health, but there amazing evening walking benefits that come with an evening stroll.
When I was younger, I scoffed at people who thought walking was exercise. I thought that if I wasn’t working up a good sweat then I wasn’t really exercising. Girl, have my ideas about exercise changed since I entered my 50s!
These days, you’ll find me working out, but with a different focus than I had in my 20s, 30s, and 40s. Count me out of any bouncing, jarring, high-impact exercise. My joints certainly don’t need it and certain other parts of me don’t need any extra bouncing either. 😉
Along with weight training to ward off osteoporosis, I have taken up walking, and I really like it! I got a Fitbit step counter and I have good-natured competitions with my friends. There’s been many a night when I’ve been just 100 steps from my goal so I march around the house until I hit it!
Tip: To stay motivated, I love to enter my steps each day on my calendar.
Walking Health Benefits
It’s pretty common knowledge that walking is one of the best types of exercise for your health. According to Harvard Medical School, walking just 2.5 hours per week can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%. That’s only 21 minutes each day.
Walking can reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, keep you mentally sharp, and help maintain a healthy weight. That’s a lot of goodness in just 21 minutes a day.
Speaking of maintaining a healthy weight, a University of Utah study in 2014 found that for every minute of brisk walking that women did throughout the day, they lowered their risk of obesity by 5%. With my 50-year-old metabolism, lowering my obesity risk is something I can really get excited about.
Surprising Evening Walking Benefits
Along with the standard health benefits, here are five evening walking benefits that may surprise you:
- Relaxation – Walking helps you feel relaxed after a long day. Your mind becomes calm and you get a chance to get rid of all the negativity of the day. This relaxation can lead you to the next surprising benefit – better sleep.
- Better Sleep – Exercise combined with fresh air can put you in a relaxed right frame of mind to get a good night’s sleep.
- Socialization – Evening walks can actually turn out to be a great way to socialize, de-stress and wind down from your day. An after-dinner stroll with your spouse or friend can be a great way to connect after a long day. Or have a friendly contest with your walking friends to see who can get the most steps in during a week! Grab my free step-tracker printable sticker sheet to share with your walking friends.
- Digestion – Going for a walk after dinner can help you digest your dinner. Wait for 30 minutes after you have eaten before you set off. You will feel so much better when you climb into your cozy bed because you won’t have that lump of food just sitting there in your stomach.
- Back Pain – Evening walks can help ease back pain. After a whole day of sitting behind a desk or doing chores, your back feels tight and stiff. A walk at the end of the day can help in loosening your muscles, relieve stiffness and ease lower back pain.
- Barefoot Walking – Walking outside barefoot on grass, sand or the ground also has health benefits aside from the usual ones.
Do you walk? Which time do you prefer, morning or evening?