I think we can all agree to the fact that college can screw with your life. In a HUUUGE way. Your life loses track on all fronts. From your eating schedule to your physical upkeep. What is this exercise and healthy eating you speak of? 

The worst part about exercising is, well, exercising. I hate the sweat, the heat, the breathlessness, the begging for air and death simultaneously...I hate exercising. Period. But exercise is also necessary to keep you from dying of a heart attack after gorging yourself on a bundle of cheesy, ooze-y fries. 

Internet and popular culture today have a tendency of portraying workout and exercise as this glamorous and sexy time of sweating and working out hard. Building those muscles and getting at it. Unfortunately, many times we try doing that, fail miserably and give up on exercise as a concept completely. This is exactly what happened to me. I got so pissed and tired that I left it completely. Also working out at the Gym COSTS SHIT-LOADS. 

Then my mother (who is a big fitness freak and way healthier than I ever will be) introduced me to the art of walking. I realized exercising isn't about burning freaking 1,000 calories a session and sweating like a hippo. Exercise isn't supposed to be punishment. Rather, it's an experience you allow yourself to ease up and dedicate time towards your body and yourself. I discovered this through walking. I started walking as a workout for forty-five minutes a day. I enjoyed it and I even lost weight. I felt healthier (not so bloated) and walking helped me blow off some steam. Literally. Also, ITS FREE. 

For those fitness freaks and lazy bums out there, here are the amazing advantages of walking. Yup, putting one step in front of another can be very beneficial. Here's why:

1. Improves Circulation 

Any physical activity improves circulation of blood and oxygen in the body and walking is one of the easiest ways of improving this circulation. A number of diseases can be prevented through better circulation and all it takes is thirty minutes of walking! Lowered risk of stroke has also been linked to walking.

2. It Reduces Stress 

College can definitely hike up your stress levels. And stress is usually the root of all problems out there, usually.

As mentioned above, walking can help reduce the stress levels by improving circulation, which, in turn, provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It also stimulates the nervous system receptors and decreases the production of the stress hormones

3. Prevents Stress Eating 

Walking can prevent that midnight binge on chocolates, doughnuts and trail mix (a lot depends on will power). 

Experts believe that stress eating is typically due to an emotional or psychological problem. Walking releases endorphin into your system and reverses the cortisol levels in your body, which helps you refrain from stress eating.

4. Prevents Weight Gain 

Besides the obvious reason that you are exercising through walking and hence reducing your weight, walking prevents obesity and weight gain in another way. 

It counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to decide how much these genes affect body weight. They discovered that the effects of the genes were cut in half for the participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day.

5. Curbs Sweet Tooth Craving 

College stress pushes me towards binging on anything sweet I can get my hands on. Weirdly, walking can curb this ravenous instinct. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can reduce cravings for chocolate and even lower the amount of chocolate eaten stressful situations. The latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.

6. Boosts Immunity 

You might have read about various foods that boost immunity but who knew 20 minutes of walking can do the same job. 

"A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 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." - via 

7. Improves Your Mood

Like I said, walking helps you blow off steam and improve your mood much like running but without the excessive stress on your muscles and joints. 

A California State University, Long Beach, study showed that the more steps people took during the day, the better their moods were. Walking releases natural painkilling endorphins to the body. 

Walking Outdoors also helps you get natural sunlight, allowing you plenty of Vitamin D while fighting the Winter blues. 

8. Prevents Chronic Diseases

We're talking Cancer, Arthritis, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Depression and much much more. Surprised? Here are a couple, of the multiple studies that list the benefits. 

The (ADA) American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. One of the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, found that those who walked enough to meet physical activity guidelines (30 or more minutes of moderate activity on 5 or more days per week) had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regularly. 

College can be tough (understatement of the century) but a walk with a friend or maybe even yourself might literally help you survive it.