In the past, people didn’t have a car and were almost always forced to do their daily chores on foot. Today, humans are farther away from this than ever before. To get to work, to the supermarket or to the gym, the car is usually used. The result is that we run the risk of sitting stunted. Running is so important to us because it not only serves our physical well-being and keeps us fit, but it also helps our mental constitution.
In this article, you will find the most important reasons why you should take a few steps on a regular basis. Just 20 minutes of running a day can make a huge difference to your health, well-being and performance. Below you will also find tips on how you can easily do more on foot.
9 reasons to run more
Exercise has many benefits, but it doesn’t have to be the gym or the marathon. Even daily movements such as simple walking have huge positive effects if you do them regularly. Exercising on foot has a positive effect on your whole body, but not only that, the truly fantastic benefits it brings to your mind and soul. You’ll be amazed at what 20 minutes a day can do.
1. Walking increases mobility
If you rest, you rust, in the truest sense of the word. A constant sitting position damages the spine in particular, but muscles, tendons and joints are also neglected. The consequences are not seldom back pain and a greater vulnerability to sports injuries, if we dare to do a little more exercise on weekends or vacations. Regular running strengthens many areas of our musculoskeletal system and reduces ailments such as back pain, joint inflammation and osteoporosis.
2. The best cure for obesity
Associated with an unbalanced diet, lack of exercise is a guarantee of obesity and metabolic diseases. At a young age, it may not be a problem, but beyond the age of 35, the consequences become more serious. With a little exercise every day, you allow your body to burn off excess energy and stimulate digestion. It is said that if all other factors remain constant, you can lose about five kilos in a year by running for 20 minutes a day.
3. Walking increases well-being
Along with improved muscle, digestion and blood circulation, our general well-being and self-esteem are also increased. Stress levels, lower blood pressure and quality of sleep also improve.
4. Reduce the risk of diabetes
There are many different studies that suggest that exercise can reduce the risk of developing diabetes mellitus (type 2). Walking twenty minutes a day can significantly reduce the risk. People with diabetes are also advised to exercise more because just 1,000 extra steps a day can lower blood glucose levels as much as some diabetes medications.
5. Strengthen your heart and circulation
Daily exercise improves blood circulation, trains the heart and strengthens our blood vessels. This can reduce the risk of high blood pressure by up to seven per cent. The risk of a heart attack is even reduced by a quarter! Here is a list of healthy foods that will help lower blood pressure. One of the best natural remedies for strengthening blood vessels is horse chestnut. One possible application is this homemade chestnut angel.
6. Increase life expectancy
Statistical surveys have shown that life expectancy can be significantly increased through exercise. According to one study, life expectancy is on average three to four years longer if you exercise 150 minutes a week. Of course, this only applies if you don’t move around much anyway 😉 Here you will find more advice on the behaviours that have the most influence on life expectancy and those that statistically lead to an increase in life expectancy of up to 14 years.
7. Improving memory
More exercise stimulates blood circulation and provides the brain with more oxygen. Research has shown that exercise can increase blood flow to the brain by up to 30% and that the learning and memory areas in the brain increase by about 2% per year with regular exercise.
8. More balance
Getting away from the office and the hectic pace of everyday life can also calm us down and create more balance. Take a walk not only to exercise but also to disconnect, relax and reflect.
9. Better decisions
When we move, not only are different muscles and tendons used, but different areas of the brain are also activated. If you move around, take your time and get some fresh air, you can think differently about important decisions and weigh all aspects carefully against each other. So if you have tough choices to make, exercise and fresh air are probably the best way to make a better decision. These are just a few of the many benefits of getting more exercise every day. All of these examples are designed for an extra 20 minutes of running or walking a day. So you don’t have to become a marathon runner or go to the gym every day. Small changes in your daily routine often suffice.
Tips for Running More
When you come home from work exhausted like most people, you’ll certainly don’t feel like doing a lot of sports. Even so, there are already many things in your daily life that you can do to move more. Get off the bus one stop early on the way to work and walk the rest of the way, or choose a different route where you can walk the last 15 to 20 minutes through a beautiful park. Consciously park your car a little further away, it can make it easier to find a parking space and you are doing something for your health. Make small purchases on foot, it can even save you money! Visiting your co-workers at their office from time to time instead of e-mailing or calling, this also leads to better relationships and work results. Take the stairs more often than the elevator. There are some small fitness exercises that you can also integrate into your daily life. Use smoking and coffee breaks more effectively by taking a few steps.
There are also other useful measures that you might like:
Instead of reading the newspaper or watching the news, you may be able to get your dose of news on the radio or podcast while walking around the neighbourhood. If you don’t have your own dog, do you know anyone in the neighbourhood who would be happy if you took their dog for a walk once in a while? If the weather is nice, you might be able to ride your bike to work. And, of course, you can also sign up for a sports or dance class.
Do you know any other little tricks you can use to bring a little more movement into your daily life? Then leave us a comment below.