Walking is good exercise. Aside from making us fit, it also offers a number of health benefits to people of all ages and helps reduce one’s risk of certain diseases.
Continue reading to learn about some of the benefits of walking.
Helps Strengthen The Heart
Walking benefits our hearts. According to studies, walking for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week can help lower down our risk of coronary heart disease by about 19 percent. Increasing the duration or distance of walk per day may, even more, reduce the risk.
Better Mind And Brain
Walking increases the levels of endorphins and significantly decreases the levels of stress in our bodies. Moreover, it also benefits our overall brain health and can lower our chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Firm Joints And Bones
The Arthritis Foundation recommends walking to have a healthier body. A 30-minute walk a day can help lessen the pain of stiff joints and bones. That’s because it helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints.
For people with arthritis, walking for 5 to 6 miles a week may help reduce pain and help prevent the condition.
Lesser Back Pain
Walking can help relieve back pain. It aids in the proper circulation of blood within the spinal area and along with proper posture, it can remove any back discomfort.
Can Help Lower Blood Sugar
A short walk after eating may possibly lower our blood sugar levels.
The result of a small study showed that taking a 15-minute walk three times a day (after breakfast, lunch, and dinner) improved blood sugar levels more than taking a 45-minute walk at another point during the day.
Melina B. Jampolis, M.D., author of The Doctor on Demand Diet, says:
“Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility, especially when you’re going for a stroll through some greenery or soaking in a bit of sunlight.”
Walking affects our mental health positively. Studies showed that it can help reduce depression, anxiety, and a negative mood while boosting self-esteem and reducing symptoms of social withdrawal.
Helps Burn Calories And Lose Weight
Daily walking increases our metabolism by burning extra calories which can help us maintain or lose weight. The number of calories burned will depend on our weight, walking speed, distance covered, and terrain.
Michele Staten, a walking coach, and author of Prevention’s Walk Your Way to Better Health, says:
“The secret to walking off the weight: intervals. Interval walking really cranks up your after burn—the calories you burn long after your official walk is over.”
Staten suggested that to add intervals, warm-up for 3 minutes then spend 25 minutes alternating between 1 minute of walking almost as fast as one can go and 1 minute of brisk walking (aiming for a 6 on an intensity scale of 1 to 10). Cool down for 2 minutes.