“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
It is time to celebrate Walk to Work Day!
Together, let’s review what we know about Walk to Work Day and walking.
What Exactly Is Walk to Work Day?
Here in the United States, Walk to Work Day is observed on the first Friday of April.
It was created to encourage people to walk to work as well as to bring heightened awareness to the great benefits of walking in general.
Walk to Work Day was first promoted in 2004 by Prevention Magazine, and it quickly caught the notice of then US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson.
Even though Walk to Work Day is an unofficial holiday, it is still important, as its goal is to shine a light on this wonderful, accessible form of exercise.
The Health Benefits of Walking
In our Blue Zone series, we saw that exercise appears to be a common theme in populations who live long, healthy lives. We also noted that exercise does not have to be intense gym workouts and that a simple walk can reward you with a myriad of physical and mental benefits.
According to research, walking can…
- Boost Immune Function: A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who took a 20-minute walk a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43 percent fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.
- Improve Blood Circulation: Studies have shown that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves that increase the supply of blood to the brain.
- Increase Creativity: A series of experiments demonstrated that walking has positive effects on creative thinking. It increased 81 percent of participants’ creativity and opened up the free flow of ideas.
- Ease Joint Pain: Studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain because it protects the joints by lubricating and strengthening the muscles that support them.
- Lighten Moods: One hypothesis about exercise suggests that taking more steps may lead to better mood because walking releases natural painkilling endorphins to the body, one of the emotional benefits of exercise.
To celebrate Walk to Work Day, get out and take a walk! Or even better (if you can)—walk to work!
And to fuel a midday walk, here is a great lunch recipe: Eggless Salad Sandwich.
Enjoy the recipe…and your walk!