Walking: The Best Exercise For Good Health

1. Walking strengthens your heart

Walking is an excellent aerobic activity that temporarily increases heart rate and blood pressure, leading to greater efficiency of the heart. Current guidelines recommend brisk walking 30 minutes a day for all, and 60 minutes a day for those who need to reach their ideal weight. Aerobic exercise can aide in weight loss and therefore improve cardiovascular risk.

It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes to some extent.

2. Walking lowers disease risk

For people with type 2 diabetes, exercise is nearly as important as diet in controlling the disease. And there are few forms of exercise as easy and convenient as walking.

A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.

Before you start, do get the go-ahead from your doctor: People whose type 2 diabetes is not under control should generally not pursue exercise until blood sugars are better controlled and no longer erratic.

3. Walking helps you lose weight

The number of calories you can burn by walking is determined by your body weight and walking pace. On average, if you walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour (a common pace) you can burn roughly 400 calories per hour.

You don’t necessarily need to go 4 miles a day. As an example, if you commit to walking 3 extra miles, they would be burning an extra 300 calories a day. You can even walk a shorter distance than that and combine it with your daily schedule. You can use a device called pedometer to help you burn extra calories while walking and doing your daily schedule.

Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.

4. Walking prevents dementia

Regular brisk walks can slow down the shrinking of the brain and the faltering mental skills that old age often brings, scientists say.

Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Since dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80.

5. Walking tones up legs

Walking on a treadmill can provide great lower-body toning workouts, and getting creative with how you do these workouts can increase their effectiveness in helping you achieve those shapely thighs you desire. Add hill walking and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.

6. Walking boosts vitamin D

Even getting at least five minutes of pure sun exposure can boost vitamin D levels. We all need to get outside more. Many people are vitamin D deficient, affecting important things like bone health and our immune systems. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

7. Walking gives you energy

Walling is a great way to improve energy levels. When your body becomes more active internal mechanisms like metabolism and blood flow increase. It’s like your waking your body up from the inside. Once your metabolism increases to keep up with the demand of work, you have to refuel with healthy foods that in turn provide more energy. Keeping your body active is the best way to stay alert and energetic.

It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.

8. Walking makes you happy

It’s true – exercise boosts your mood. Within five minutes of walk, you can feel happier! Once you get moving, your brain releases serotonin, dopamine and nor-epinephrine as well as possibly others. These make you feel good! So, even if you don’t feel like doing anything, just going for a walk can make you happier!

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