Get walking! It’s a great New Year’s Resolution

41331318 - attractive senior mother with daughter relaxing outdoorsWalking is the easiest and perhaps best form of exercise for a long and healthy life. A daily, 30-minute walk can offer a variety of health benefits.

A better mood. Even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, going for a morning walk can make you feel better. Research shows us that walking offers a host of mental health benefits. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition even links going for a walk with being more creative!

Socialization. Going for a walk in the morning doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Grabbing a friend or family member can make the experience more entertaining and provide motivation/encouragement. You and your walking buddy can set health and fitness goals and achieve them together!

Lowered risk of chronic disease. Studies show walking can lower your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Those who walk for 30 minutes per day, five times or more per week also have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

Weight loss. Get this: one mile walked per day is equivalent to 2,000 steps and 100 calories burned. That’s 700 calories burned per week.

Better sleep. Starting the day right with exercise and a good breakfast is key to helping your body maintain a steady internal schedule. Regular exercise, like walking, can also improve your quality of sleep. Those who exercise as little as 10 minutes per day have been proven to have higher quality sleep.