Whether you prefer to go for walks outdoors or prefer them inside on a treadmill, there are countless benefits of walking. Walking is a great activity to do on your own while listening to your favorite music or podcast or catching up with a friend or family member on the phone. Or you can plan to walk with someone, or several people, to make it a fun group activity!

If you are someone who tracks your physical activity on a smart watch or on your smart phone, then you are likely familiar with the common goal to get 10,000 steps in a day. For some, this goal can be easy to hit, especially if they are on their feet for their daily job. For others, it may take a little extra work or extra time carved out of their day. Regardless, walking 10,000 steps a day is an outstanding way to help improve your physical and mental health.

Healthy benefits of walking with friends

Here are some of the main benefits of walking and hitting the 10,000-step goal each day: 

1 – Weight loss

First, walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day is a great way to help kickstart or continue on with your weight loss journey. Generally speaking, 10,000 steps a day is around 5 miles total, which is a substantial number of miles to walk a day, helping you to burn a consistent number of calories. At minimum, this is a great goal to set to keep your body moving each day. 

2 – Clearing the mind.

 In addition to walking helping you to physically meet your goals, walking is a great way to clear your mind. No matter how you choose to walk, with music or a podcast, listening to nature around you, or with a friend or family member, getting a little bit of a sweat in is always a guaranteed way to clear up your mind and de-stress yourself. We are all about endorphins! 

3 – Strengthening your bones and muscles. 

Physically, the more you walk, the stronger your bones and muscles will become! Start incorporating 10,000 steps a day now, and that way, the older you become, the less at-risk you are for diseases such as osteoporosis, which can cause your bones to become weak and brittle. And, of course, walking can directly impact your muscles, strengthening them over time and helping you to tone up! 

4 – Decreasing anxiety and depression. 

So many people struggle with anxiety and/or depression on a daily basis. Some studies have shown that even as little as a 5-to-10-minute walk can help to decrease negative thoughts and feelings. If you are looking for some relief, try incorporating walks throughout your day, that will ultimately add up to the full 10,000 steps! 

5-  Improving blood pressure. 

Walking regularly has been shown to help to improve your blood pressure, because ultimately, the stronger your heart is, the easier it can pump blood with less effort. By improving your blood pressure, you are also reducing the risk of having a heart attack. Walking is an extremely great way to avoid cardiovascular-related diseases, no matter how healthy you are!  

Overall, you cannot go wrong with walking, whether you choose to walk for a short period of time or aim for the common goal of 10,000 steps a day. Walking can be done no matter how young or old you are and no matter how physically active you are! If you are finding that hitting 10,000 steps a day is difficult at first, start small and work your way up to meeting the goal! Regardless, you will reap the physical and mental benefits of walking!