Benefits of Walking
You know what they say, you can't put a price on good health. And that's why I'm here to talk about the benefits of walking.
I know you're thinking, "Why would I read this blog post about walking?" Well, have you ever felt that sense of being overwhelmed? Like all the work and responsibilities are just too much to handle? Or that life is getting at you, and you feel too stressed because it's like there's nothing you can do to stop it? When we feel that way, we sometimes need an escape from reality and what better way to do it than by getting up and going for a walk around the block? It's easy, and it's free!
The Science of Walking
Did you know that humans only learned how to walk 2 million years ago? Yes, scientists have found fossils to prove that early man walked upright during that era. Even though we don't know precisely what provoked our ancestors to decide to start walking, we do know that it changed the course of human history forever. In fact, if humans kept clinging to their knuckles and crawling around on all fours, we may have never evolved into what we now are today!
Why Walk: The Benefits of Walking
There are numerous benefits one can get from walking. Just by taking that half hour or so to walk down the street, you are helping your body tremendously.
Walking benefits mental well-being. It regularly improves strength, endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, balance, coordination, confidence in movement skills, mood stabilization, insomnia relief, energy level relief, respiratory capacity, lung function efficiency, immune system efficacy, weight management.
The benefits of walking are endless. Let's look at some of these advantages in further detail:
Walking helps your heart.
I'm sure you've heard this time and time again, but it's true, walking is good for your heart! It helps you improve your circulation and decreases your blood pressure! Walking is also a low-impact exercise, which means it does not put a lot of stress on your heart muscles. That's a double whammy right there.
It can help lower cholesterol levels.
Besides lowering blood pressure, walking can lower cholesterol levels. Research says that walking can increase HDL or "good" cholesterol levels while decreasing LDL or "bad" cholesterol. And it doesn't take much—a simple 30 minute walk every day on a regular basis is enough to improve your cholesterol profile.
The American Heart Association recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, which means roughly 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This is the minimum level of physical activity needed to experience health benefits such as reduced levels of cholesterol in the blood.
People who walk regularly have more energy.
We all know this one! Walking may increase your energy level by:
- Improving coordination and balance.
- Increasing flow of blood to muscles and vital organs.
- Enhancing flexibility and strength of leg muscles which enables easier daily activities such as climbing stairs without fatigue or taking a longer stride on the golf course.
Walking is easy to do almost anywhere, anytime.
Not only is walking excellent for your heart, blood vessels, and lungs, but you can do it anytime, anywhere! Unlike other forms of exercise, walking is very easy to fit into your daily routine. You don't need to go to the gym every day or find hours to devote to a treadmill. All you need is a pair of nice, comfy shoes and the willpower to lace up and get going!
Walking can improve confidence.
This is especially applicable for older people who may struggle with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure that make regular exercise difficult. Simple exercises like walking can help build up confidence and self-esteem, which makes daily activities easier and more enjoyable! There you have it-- another reason why walking is a great way to stay healthy and strong!
Walking makes your body stronger.
As you walk more, your body grows stronger over time because muscle mass increases 24 hours a day, seven days a week! When your muscle mass increases, your bones become stronger too. This is great for preventing osteoporosis, a condition where bones become thin and fragile.
Walking also builds core strength which is helpful in preventing back pain later on in life.
It's a great way to get in shape and lose weight.
Walking is another fantastic approach to get in excellent shape and reduce weight. It can help you shed pounds by burning about 100 calories each mile.
How does walking help you achieve that? It increases one's metabolism, which means that after your walk, your body will be burning calories at a faster rate and assisting with weight loss.
Walking 10,000 steps a day for 30 minutes can help you get the recommended amount of physical activity.
The more intense the walking pace, the more calories burned during physical activity. Adding some intensity to your walks (i.e. inclines or sprints) will allow you to burn even more calories per minute compared with normal walking speed. That's why it's important to walk at a pace that feels challenging but doable!
Your immune system can benefit from walking!
Studies have shown that people who walk regularly have a better functioning immune system compared to those who don't get sufficient physical activity. This suggests that walking can help prevent illness and infections from occurring in the first place!
Walking can help improve your balance and coordination.
Walking is a great option for those who want to improve balance and coordination. The more you are improving these skills, the easier life will be! Why? Because walking is an activity that requires balance and coordination. And the more you improve your balance and coordination, the easier it will be to complete daily tasks.
Walking can help with your mental health!
Mental health is just as important as physical well-being when it comes to physical activity, and walking has great benefits for both the mind and the body. Studies have found that taking a 30 minute walk can increase brain connections linked to memory, learning, cognitive function, and mood. Walking also promotes the production of serotonin in your body which helps you feel happier. Doesn't that sound like something worth incorporating into your daily routine?
Walking is a great hobby.
Maybe you don't want to go through life as a couch potato or sedentary person, but you find that going for a run or hitting the gym isn't exactly what you would call "fun". If that is your case, try walking. It is pretty fun actually. Many people enjoy it so much that they do it all the time in a park or just around the neighbourhood. Some people even choose to walk as a form of transportation if it's possible where they live. So, without having to take time out of your busy day for exercise, you can enjoy taking a stroll and giving yourself some much needed physical activity.
Here's a tip: Try jotting down some ideas of places to walk around or things to see while walking and then visit those locations with your trusty shoes on your feet! You might be surprised at how good you feel after you've pounded the pavement.
Walking can be done by busy people!
Walking is easy enough for almost anyone to do, but it can be just hard enough that you're working your body in a serious way without wearing out your joints or making yourself exhausted before you know it. People of all ages and sizes can benefit from walking because its simplicity meshes well with our busy lives.
Walking is free! No equipment or special clothing is required.
If you want to be fit and don't want to spend so much on gym equipment, you can simply go for a walk. One of the best things about walking is that it's free! No equipment is required, no special clothing—as long as you have on comfortable shoes. You can even get some fresh air while doing it outdoors!
According to one research, those who did little to no physical activity, such as walked for 1-4 hours each week, had lower mortality rates than those who didn't walk at all.
Furthermore, walking is an ideal form of exercise because it doesn't require any equipment, has less to no associated risks for injury, and can be done anywhere! All you need is your sneakers or shoes and some time. The more you walk, the better your health will be!
Start with a comfortable pace and work your way up to higher speeds when you're ready!
Walking can be done anytime, anywhere.
All it takes is a pair of good, comfy shoes. Walking does not require any equipment or special clothing unless the weather conditions are extreme. You don't need to go to an exercise facility, and you can do it at your own convenience. On days when you cannot get outside for our recommended 150 minutes each week, walking in place while listening to music or watching TV or indoors provides a moderate activity that will help you burn calories and reduce stress!
Walking can be a social activity.
Walking is an easy activity to do with others, which can make it a social activity as well as a physical one. As walking doesn't require 100% focus, you can easily multitask and walk side by side with friends, family, and even co-workers. No time to chat at work? Walk going home or to the bus stop/ car parking area while socializing with other people!
Walking improves your mood.
Walking naturally reduces stress hormones and increases feel-good endorphins, resulting in a natural feel-good feeling that is completely free of side effects!
Stress hormones that are reduced with walking are known to suppress the immune system and damage blood vessels. The increase in happy hormones reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression and helps you live longer!
Walking helps fight off illness.
Study shows that people who walk regularly are 27% less likely to develop a cold than those who don't walk as much. Walking also has been shown to decrease the chance of developing heart disease by 40%, dementia by 50%, Type 2 diabetes by 58%, and some cancers by 30%. Those who walk a lot have lower BMIs (Body Mass Index), which is linked with many health conditions. People who are physically active have higher life expectancies than those who aren't physically active.
Walking helps improve your overall health.
Besides helping you reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, walking can improve general health. For one, walking helps you lose weight. It also aids in reducing your risk for diabetes mellitus type 2 by helping change the body's metabolism to use up glucose instead of blood sugar for fuel.
Walking is also an excellent form of exercise.
There are many benefits associated with walking that include strengthening bones, reducing chronic pain, increasing flexibility, preventing back problems and osteoporosis, improving cholesterol levels, and lowering the risk of coronary heart disease while strengthening muscles in your hips and thighs to provide support. Walking also enables the body to stay flexible, allowing you to maintain mobility throughout life.
Walking can help you live longer.
A recent study published by the American Heart Association's journal showed that people who said they walked for two hours or more each week had a lower risk of dying early as opposed to those who walked for less than one hour per week.
According to Senior Vice President of Population Science researcher Alpa Patel, Ph.D., regular walking has the ability to significantly improve public health. It was associated with vital health benefits regardless of how fast or far people went.
In another study, researchers found that even women who reported usually being inactive were still within the range of being able to gain health benefits from walking. (The study appears in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association. It tracked more than 85,000 women aged 54 to 79 years over 11 years.) In addition to that, there are pretty much no risks associated with walking, which makes it an easy choice.
To maximize the benefits of walking, Patel recommends taking as many steps as you can each day. In this study, those women who walked 7,500 steps per day or more lowered their risk of dying early by about 20 percent compared with those who reported 4,900 steps per day or less.
Walking can help you feel happier.
All of this walking helps our bodies synthesize serotonin (a feel-good chemical), which makes us feel happier, calmer, and less anxious! So get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. It'll make you feel great!
Walking boosts brainpower!
As an added benefit, walking boosts brainpower! Scientists have found that regular activity like walking helps grow new brain cells in many parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, which governs memory and learning. Looking further, scientists say that walking helps memory and learning by strengthening the connections between the brain cells. And, of course, we all know that staying sharp and learning new things can be a great way to avoid memory loss!
Walking helps to reduce the risk of almost every disease!
It has also been found that walking helps in reducing the risk of almost every disease! Heart disease? Check. Diabetes? Double-check. Depression? Oh yeah. How does it help reduce heart disease risk? It helps lower bad cholesterol, which prevents buildup in the arteries. When clogged arteries occur, you have a heart attack or stroke risk. How about diabetes? Walking is also known to help lower blood sugar levels. Depression? Well, I'm glad you asked. When someone is depressed, happy hormones are low. Walking can help to release these hormones. It has also been found that walking can be used as a form of therapy for those who are suffering from depression.
See? Walking can be used as a natural approach for most kinds of diseases.
So get off the couch and get moving with some daily walks! A brisk walk each day is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your health.
You don't have to be an athlete to start walking - anyone can do it!
Walking is an activity that requires no ability, no special training, and very little risk of injury. It is an aerobic exercise that can be done by people of all ages, at any fitness level. Walking does not require any equipment or special clothing unless the weather conditions are extreme. You don't have to go to an exercise facility, and you can do it at your own convenience.
On days when you cannot get outside for our recommended 150 minutes each week, walking in place while reading, watching TV, or listening to music provides a moderate activity that will help you burn calories and reduce stress!
It is also one of the easiest activities for people of all ages and fitness levels because it is low-impact and uses the large muscle groups of the lower body. It can be easily modified to suit individual ability, and it does not take much time or effort to reap significant health benefits.
Who doesn't want more energy, increased focus, and improved sleep quality?!
Walking can help you achieve these benefits and more, as it aids in improving sleep quality, focus, and energy.
In addition to its physical benefits, walking is a great way to relieve stress too! In fact, some doctors recommend walking as a means of relaxation -- something we could all use a little bit more of.
How long and how frequent you should walk daily?
Doctors recommend that individuals walk for at least 30 minutes each day, in addition to their normal exercise routine. For increased health benefits, walking up to 60 minutes per day is best.
If you're feeling unmotivated or too tired to head outside for a walk, try taking advantage of some fresh air and natural sunshine by walking around your neighbourhood on your lunch break!
Whatever it takes to get moving forward!
The more often you incorporate walking into your daily routine, the better the benefits will be. Even adding small walks throughout the day can have great results -- so why not treat yourself to a quick stroll every time you go pick up dinner?
Many of us spend long hours sitting at our desks without ever standing up or getting any exercise during work hours. However, it is recommended that you take frequent breaks from sitting throughout your day by standing up from your desk or table every 20-30 minutes. This will not only get you moving but also help reduce back pain!
If not at work, you can also walk while commuting. This is an easy way to get in some extra exercise throughout the day. Walking to work (if it is doable), instead of driving or taking public transportation, can significantly reduce stress levels throughout the week.
While most people think that walking is just for aerobic exercise, many benefits can also be realized through regular walks throughout your day. Even though you may not notice it at first, incorporating more movement into your routine will lead to improved mood and energy levels!
Motivate yourself and try to do whatever it takes to get moving forward!
How does walking affect people differently?
Walking affects everyone benefits different individuals in a variety of ways due to individual differences in physiology and biomechanics. For instance, someone with chronic knee pain may experience relief after a daily 20-minute walk, while another person might feel more comfortable visiting a physical therapist for assistance with specific strength training exercises.
Take it slow and don't injure yourself!
It's all about having fun with your exercise and finding what works for YOU and your body. Make sure to take it slow so you don't injure yourself, but once you've gotten used to your new exercise routine, you'll have no problem fitting it into your daily life!
Lace-up those sneakers today and walk!
The benefits of walking are unsurpassed. From cardiovascular health to stress relief, there is no better way to improve your physical and emotional well-being than getting some fresh air with a good walk every day. And the best part? Walking may be done at any time and in any location! So lace up those sneakers today and get going - you'll be amazed at how good you feel when you do! You've got this!
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