Regardless of whether you plan a jog or a little gym time at home or elsewhere, you have the opportunity to get moving every day. Check out these three benefits to picking up the pace the next time you’re out for a stroll.

1. Improve your balance.

According to Harvard Medical School, one of the main benefits to taking a brisk walk is improving your balance and coordination. Create a walking plan to get you in the habit of adding a brisk stroll to your exercise routine.

You’ll develop lower-body strength, one of the key ways to ensure you maintain your balance at any age. Start small and build your way up. Didn’t you need to drop a few things off at the post office around the corner?

2. Lift your spirits.

Living a healthy lifestyle includes finding ways to improve your mental health. According to research by Dr. Michael C. Miller, even something as simple as regular walks can increase blood flow to your brain and improve your mental acuity and mood significantly.

In fact, a 2005 study found that for individuals with major depressive disorder, those who walked for 30 minutes had more positive feelings of well-being and vigor compared to those who rested quietly for 30 minutes. Why not take the dog for an extra walk during the day? It’ll make him just as happy as it’ll make you.

3. Maintain your weight.

People often forget this, but maintaining a healthy weight is just as important as achievinga healthy weight. According to Mayo Clinic, you could burn 150 calories by taking a brisk 30-minute walk – just enough to burn off the calories from the cookies you had earlier. So if you’re trying to keep your weight down, don’t forget to incorporate a walk into your daily routine. Your waistline will thank you for it.

Ready to take your first brisk steps?

Learn how exercise may help you stay safe on the road.

Consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen or changing your diet. The Hartford does not endorse or have any association with the products and/or services referenced.