Sep 14, 2022 The Benefits of Walking

By: Nick Unger, PTA, Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest

Regular daily exercise is a goal that many people strive towards, but often have difficulty achieving. There are often many things that get in the way: work obligations, family and household responsibilities, or simply lack of motivation. But don’t fret - one of the easiest ways to get into a good routine is to start by doing something as simple as taking a walk. We walk everyday anyway right? Why not reap the benefits. Walking is easy, efficient, and can have many advantageous effects on your overall long-term health. This blog post will consist of three valuable aspects of a daily walk.

1. Walking improves cognitive function

One of the most underrated benefits of walking is that it can help to improve cognitive function as we age. Studies have shown that individuals between the ages of 70 and 90 that walk at least one mile a day have enhanced volume in several areas of the brain, including the frontal lobe - which is involved in problem solving and reasoning. Depending on our genetics, we may not be able to avoid certain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or some types of dementia, but walking regularly can help to reduce the risk of preventable cognitive impairments as we age.

2. Walking lowers blood pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, has become an increasing problem in patients of all ages in recent years, especially due to increasing rates of obesity. Studies have shown that in certain populations aerobic exercise, such as walking, can have similar results in decreasing blood pressure when compared to taking a single antihypertensive drug. This being said, please always remember to consult with your doctor if you have any questions regarding your medications or changes to your medications.

3. Walking decreases depression and anxiety

Many people often spend many hours indoors at work or at home on their electronic devices. Increased screen time on our phone and computers, coupled with social isolation (which has become an epidemic itself throughout this global COVID-19 health crisis), can lead to an increase in depression and anxiety. Getting outside and going for a walk has been shown to have positive effects on reducing both depression and anxiety.

Walking is a simple and attainable task that all individuals should be doing every day to stay healthy. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that all healthy adults between 18-65 years old should participate in 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise every week. This equates to 30 minutes of activity five days per week or 20 minutes of activity seven days per week. With the warmer weather and increased daylight hours, it is the perfect time of year to carve out 20-30 minutes per day to do something for yourself – and if it can help keep you healthy, that is just a bonus. So get out there and get walking!


Fleg, Jerome L. “Aerobic Exercise in the Elderly: A Key to Successful Aging.” Discovery Medicine, 26 Mar. 2012,

“Physical Activity Guidelines Resources.” ACSM_CMS,

Wojtys, Edward M. “Keep on Walking.” Sports Health, vol. 7, no. 4, July 2015,

The Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation centers are open and ready to help you achieve your goals. With four locations in West Orange, Millburn and Livingston, the experienced and compassionate staff at Cooperman Barnabas Rehabilitation offers adults and children the specialized care they need to resume an active life after surgery, injury or illness. They are committed to providing patients with the most advanced services in a safe, caring and soothing environment. For high-risk patients who are unable to visit in person, telehealth is an option. Patients do not need a prescription for physical therapy services.

To make an appointment at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation at the JCC MetroWest, call 973-325-9100.