The Joseph Group

Benefits of Walking

April 26, 2024

To Inspire:

Of course, we all know that any physical activity is a boon to our overall health. But a recent article in Harvard Medical School’s Health Beat publication shared five specific benefits (among many more) of walking. With good weather finally here, we thought sharing those might encourage all of us to do more walking each week. Here they are:

  1. Walking (specifically) has been shown to counteract the effects of weight-promoting genes that all of us carry. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes actually contribute to body weight. For study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the negative effects of those genes were cut in half.
  2. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that even a short walk curbs cravings for chocolate and other sugary snacks and reduces the amount of those snacks that people eat in stressful situations.
  3. Walking reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer but an American Cancer Society study that focused on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.
  4. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Why? Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.
  5. Walking boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

I (Matt) can share from personal experience that my early morning walk with Ike (our 140 lb. Bernese Mountain dog) at Wolfe Park has become part of my daily routine. I love getting outside first thing in the morning and I use the time to thank God for my many blessings, lift up the needs of others and think about my day and how I want to live it. The emotional and spiritual benefits are enormous, not just the physical benefits.

So, get out those walking shoes and get outside each day for a walk!





Written by Matt Palmer, Partner & Co-Founder