Benefits of walking

lacing up

Lisa Berry

Lacing upWearable technology like Fitbits and apps that track your steps have been growing in popularity, and Americans are making an effort to get up and get walking. But is hitting that coveted 10,000 steps a day really making a difference?

In short, the answer is yes. 10,000 steps is an estimation of the physical activity you need each day for good overall health. Tomorrow is Walk to Work Day. So get outside, enjoy the warmer weather and have a healthy start to your day. If you need more motivation to hit the pavement, here are the top three benefits of walking:

It burns calories

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 154-pound person walking at 3.5 mph will burn 140 calories in 30 minutes. Walking every day, combined with a healthy diet, can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, which is essential for cancer prevention. Obesity is a leading risk factor for several types of cancer and other diseases like diabetes and heart disease—and is poised to become the leading cause of cancer in this country within a few years.

It’s low-impact

Many forms of exercise can put harmful stress on the body, especially if you are elderly or have previous or chronic injuries. Low-impact workouts allow you to burn calories without the pain. And you don’t need a gym or equipment to walk—if it’s raining outside, drive to your local shopping mall and walk the mall.

It relieves stress

Just like other forms of exercise, walking releases endorphins, those feel-good hormones that lift your spirits. Most people equate endorphins release to tough workouts at the gym, but you can get the same effect just by walking to school or work. Stress overload can be extremely detrimental to your health, so keeping stress levels low is critical to reducing your cancer risk.

Enjoy Walk to Work Day knowing you are reducing your cancer risk, step by step.