What Happens To Your Heart When You Take A Walk Every Day

You've no doubt heard about the benefits of walking. It is actually one of the best forms of exercise you can participate in. Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association pointed out that walking is associated with a myriad of benefits including helping to control high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It reduces stress and can also help with weight loss. In fact, consistent, brisk walking might be all the aerobic exercise most people might need for cardiovascular training. The Australian Heart Foundation calls walking a "wonder drug," pointing out that it can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 40%.

Part of what makes walking so rewarding is the fact that it engages many of your muscles. Walking forward uses your glutes as well as your hamstrings, and as you continue stepping, you use your quadriceps and other muscles in your thighs. Your calves, ankles, as well as some of your ab and back muscles are also engaged as you walk, certified trainers tell Byrdie.

Walking works your heart

Another muscle that benefits from walking is your heart. Because walking is a physical activity, it reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke, according to a review published in the Current Opinion in Cardiology. When compared to running or Crossfit routines, walking might not seem like much, but it is considered an aerobic activity, and just like any other form of aerobics, walking strengthens your heart as it works to pump blood and oxygen throughout your body (per University of Michigan Health).

While all of this is good, the even better news is that you don't have to do much to see results. Just a 30-minute walk five days a week is enough to make a difference in your health, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology. If you're new to exercise, the American Heart Association recommends starting with just a few minutes per day and gradually increasing your time and pace. If you have any heart conditions, always consult with your doctor before embarking on a walking program, according to University of Michigan Health.