• April 2 is National Walk to Work Day
  • People can still participate even if they use public transport or work from home
  • Walking has many benefits for the health and well-being

Put your walking shoes on because April 2 is National Walk to Work Day. It's the perfect time to put one foot in front of the other and start getting healthy even while on the way to work.

The National Walk to Work Day is another work-related holiday celebrated every first Friday of April. The occasion encourages people to exercise their muscles and, quite simply, walk to work.

Naturally, walking to work can't apply to everyone since many people's workplaces are quite far and would require either driving or using public transport. If you're one of them, you can still participate in the occasion by walking to lunch instead, Time and Date suggested. And if you use public transport, you can instead walk from the bus stop or train station to your workplace, or perhaps from your home to the bus stop.

Another option would be to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Those who are working from home, meanwhile, may choose to walk around their home during breaks throughout the day or perhaps around their neighborhood, National Today suggested.

The idea is simply to break the sedentary lifestyle we often have at work.

On this day, let's have a look at some of the benefits of walking that may encourage you to bring out your walking shoes, courtesy of National Today, Benenden Health, Healthline and the Better Health Channel of the Government of Victoria, Australia.

Walking Helps You Be More Physically Fit

While it sounds like such a simple activity, walking can actually help improve your physical fitness. It helps reduce body fat, improves balance and helps to strengthen the bones, Better Health Channel noted. And although you may feel quite tired the first few times that you do it, you won't feel as tired when you arrive at work eventually.

"If you walk fast enough to raise your heart rate, temperature and breathing, you can still reap the same kind of rewards as a run on the treadmill," Benenden Health said.

It Has Health Benefits

Apart from helping you to stay physically fit, the simple act of walking also has various health benefits, from reducing the risk of obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and stroke to strengthening the heart, Benenden Health said.

Further, Better Health Channel noted that it can help improve the management of conditions such as hypertension, joint or muscular pain and diabetes.

Healthline also cited a study, which found that the adults who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had fewer sick days and respiratory tract infections. And even if they got sick, their symptoms were lessened compared to the adults who were more sedentary.

Good For The Environment And Your Wallet

Naturally, choosing to walk over using the car is quite good for the planet as it lessens the pollution spewed into the environment, National Today said.

Not only that, but it would also help you save money on gas and perhaps parking. And if you use public transport to work, choosing to walk instead could certainly save you a few bucks you would have used on fare, Benenden Health said.

Boosts Mood, Increases Well-Being

Walking is actually good for mental health, Healthline said, noting that it can help reduce anxiety, depression and negative moods while also boosting self-esteem. Benenden Health further noted how physical activity can actually help cause chemical changes in the brain. For instance, it can help release endorphins, which can impact mood.

Further, walking also helps you become less stressed and more mindful since you're more focused on the surroundings instead of on your phone. It even provides you with some time to think.

Of course, these are just some of the benefits that people can get from walking, regardless if it's done to arrive at work or elsewhere.

Whether you participate for just this day or choose to continue it beyond the holiday, make sure to stay safe while walking. Healthline recommends putting on sunscreen, drinking lots of water before and after the walk, and wearing comfortable clothing. It’s also important to walk in designated, well-lit areas and, to wear reflective gear if you’re walking in the evening or in the early morning.

People Walking
Pictured: Representation of people walking on a sidewalk. Igor Ovsyannykov/Pixabay