How Does Walking Prevent Obesity? It Goes Beyond Burning Calories

Taking a morning walk can have a far greater impact on your health than you realize. One major benefit? It can help prevent obesity. But the preventative benefits of walking go beyond exercise; they have a lot to do with heart health, stress levels, and more, all of which are contributing factors to obesity.

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Grab a friend and go for a walk. | Yobro10/iStock/GettyImages

What causes obesity?

There are plenty of factors that lead to obesity — it isn’t only overeating. Yes, ordering a Big Mac every day for lunch definitely won’t help you maintain a healthy weight, but obesity stems from not taking care of both your physical and mental health. Those who never exercise and do little to watch their diet are at a higher risk of obesity. But those who are under a lot of stress almost always see weight gain, since poor mental health can cause us to eat as a way of relief. Genetics also play a role, which is mostly out of control of the person affected. But people can control their emotions and exercise habits through walking, which makes it an excellent way to prevent excessive weight gain.

Walking reduces stress levels and improves mental health

Emotions play a large role in eating habits. If you’re stressed out at work, you may find yourself binge eating takeout as a way to make up for that emotional stress. It’s difficult to handle stressful situations, but the best thing to do is to relax your mind. And taking a walk on a nice day is the perfect way to do this. When you walk, you reduce your stress levels, which in turn promotes a healthier lifestyle. You won’t feel the need to binge eat, since your mental health will be in a better place.

Walking promotes heart health in addition to burning calories

Burning calories is key to preventing obesity, but there are additional side effects of obesity that are also prevented with a daily walk. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke risk, and more are much lower or less likely when you take a walk. This ties in directly with the exercise factor of walking. But the mental health benefits of walking, such as using a walk as a way to clear your mind and reduce stress, can also improve heart health. Plus, a 30-minute walk will burn calories, which is necessary for keeping a steady weight or dropping a few pounds.

30 minutes of daily walking can prevent obesity and its risk factors

Exercise is extremely important for obesity prevention. But exercise doesn’t need to take up an hour or more of your day to have some positive impact. Walking for just 30 minutes each day can be an excellent way to keep your mental health, heart health, and overall health in check. Try waking up 30 minutes earlier and taking a walk in the crisp morning air. It will help you clear your head, and you can think about the day ahead, such as what you’ll eat and how you’ll tackle any potential work problems. Starting off the day with a clear mind will help prevent obesity, too, and it all starts with a 30-minute walk.

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