7 Reasons to Go for a Walk Around the Block

A life rich in health and wellness is actually easier than people think. Many believe that taking care of yourself means putting hours in the gym and executing a strict nutrition plan, but the truth is that your overall health is formed in the little things you do. It’s what happens outside of the gym and the kitchen that truly determines our quality of life. The average American sits between 6-8 hours a day1 without considering how their secondary lifestyle may be negatively impacting their health. While taking a walk around the block may not seem groundbreaking, it plays a critical role in combating disease and illness caused by prolonged sitting. So let’s lace up our shoes and hit the pavement as we look at 7 reasons to go for a walk around the block. 


1. Lowers Blood Pressure

Blood pressure may not be on your radar, but as the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) increases with age, it’s time to reevaluate your health checklist. Exercise improves heart strength, allowing your heart to pump blood easier and minimizing the pressure on your arteries, which effectively lowers blood pressure. If your BP is already great, a daily walk will keep it that way as you grow older. And if it needs some TLC, regular bursts of movement, such as a few walks around the block can lower blood pressure just as well some medications.2 


2. Reduces Stress

I don’t know of a single person who couldn’t benefit from less stress in their lives, and walking is a fantastic tool to calm the mind and reboot the brain. Light aerobic exercise reduces stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, while stimulating the production of the feel-good chemicals, endorphins. Additionally, an easy walk increases oxygen flow to the brain, increasing it’s performance. When cognitive performance improves, so does your ability to problem-solve and process stress. 


3. Your Joints Will Thank You

As a low-impact exercise, walking puts less stress on the bones. Additionally, it lubricates your joints, which decreases pain and loosens any stiffness. I like to think of a daily walk as preventative care. Especially if you’ve been going hard in the gym and imposing a lot of stress on your body, low-intensity cardio will give your joints an active break that’ll improve inflammation and expand your range of motion. 


4.  Improves Your Mood

A brisk walk around the block offers sights, smells, and sunshine that undeniably improves your overall well-being. It elevates your senses, brightening the world around you. Also, remember those endorphins we talked about? Well, they just so happen to send signals of relaxation and happiness to your brain, making this low-impact exercise an instant mood lifter.   


5. Controls and Prevents Diabetes

Diabetes is a growing epidemic in the United States, but type 2 diabetes can often be prevented with lifestyle changes. One study found that walking for 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk by 30%.3 Whether you already have diabetes or want to prevent it, walking helps steady your blood sugar, making it a powerful tool against the disease. 


6. Reduces Cancer Risk

The American Cancer Society promotes walking, even just a little bit, since it’s linked to a lower risk of breast cancer and colon cancer, as well as improving your overall mortality rate.4 Taking care of our overall health is important, and I don’t know about you, but I’m all for something easy, convenient, and free, such as walking to help reduce my chances of developing the disease. 



7. You’ll Get to Know the Neighborhood 

Most of us rush through life so quickly that we probably couldn’t say what color our own neighbors’ home is or what sort of flowers grace their yard. When you take a stroll through your neighborhood, it offers you the opportunity to get to know your surroundings in a new, more intentional way. Is there a beautiful Spanish colonel down the street or a true San Francisco Edwardian around the block? What blooms are in season, and what types of bird frequent your area? Get to know your neighborhood and appreciate the subtle beauty of the place you call home.

Now that you know about the fantastic benefits of a daily walk, what are you waiting for? Step out for some fresh air and take advantage of your able body. 




  1. Yang, Lin. (2019). Trends in Secondary Behavior Among the US Population, 2001-2016. JAMA. Retrieved from jamanetwork.com 
  2. The Mayo Clinic. (2019). Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045206
  3. Harvard T.H. Chan. (2020). Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes. Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/diabetes-prevention/preventing-diabetes-full-story/

The American Cancer Society. (2017). Study: Even a little walking may help you live longer. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/study-even-a-little-walking-may-help-you-live-longer.html

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