Walk your way to health and fitness!
Staying healthy is a crucial part to living a long and happy life, but you don’t need to be running marathons into your seventies to reap the benefits of staying active. We could all benefit from being a little healthier, but many of us aren’t quite sure where to begin. Physical activity doesn’t need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life, improve your health, help you lose weight, and get you feeling more confident about yourself and your body.
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers.
Walking has the highest “success ratio” of any new exercise and fitness regime. It is an easy lifestyle change, which brings about huge benefits. Daily walking will make you feel better and become more productive and happy.
There are quite a few benefits of how everyday walking improves your health and lifestyle.
1. It Increases Your Lifespan
A new study has shown that frequent walking can add up to 7.2 years onto the life of an individual. According to the study, the amount of walking the individual does will influence the number of years added to the individual’s life. Even just 75 minutes a week, less than 11 minutes of walking a day, can add almost 2 years onto an individual’s life. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals get about 150 minutes of walking a week, which comes to just over 20 minutes a day. Walking may activate the telomerase enzyme, which is responsible for maintaining DNA integrity, an important factor in aging, but it helps prevent all age-related problems.
2. Aids Weight Loss
You don’t need to go on extreme diets or exercise rigorously to begin losing weight. Just walking can be enough to see a few pounds drop away. American scientists designed an experiment where obese patients walked together (a concept known as the ‘walking bus’) to their destinations in and around the city. After 8 weeks, their weight was checked, and more than 50% of the participants lost an average of 5 pounds. Therefore, it might be a good idea to start walking to and from your nearby destinations, instead of driving your car.
3. Strengthens Your Heart
Your heart health is incredibly important to your overall health, which means you need to pay attention to all diseases and illness that can harm your heart. Frequent walking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and preventing heart disease from developing. According to the American Heart Association, walking is no less effective than running when it comes to the prevention of heart relates disease or stroke.
4. Helps improve Vitamin D
Being deficient in Vitamin D can lead to an increase of developing cardiovascular disease, and cause asthma in children, and may even cause cancer. It is also known to cause things like bone pain and muscle weakness. Taking frequent walks outside, particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is at its brightest, can boost your levels of Vitamin D and get you feeling better.
5. Improves Digestion
Studies have shown that a post meal walk can help in digesting food. Walking speeds up the rate at which food moves through the stomach. It helps to decrease blood sugar after meals which decreases cardiovascular risk and potential signal diabetes. Walking can get your gut into gear making your body digest the meal faster.
6. Boosts Immune Function
Taking a walk a day is kind of like that proverb of apple : there’s a good chance it will keep the doctor away. Walking is a great way to boost your immunity. Walking at least 30 minutes a day can help bolster the activities of the immune cells, namely, the B-cells, T-cells, and the natural killer cells. It helps release the WBCs at a faster rate, thereby allowing your body to heal quickly.
7. Uplifts Mood
Sometimes it takes a square of dark chocolate or a glass of wine to uplift your mood but well going for a walk is a zero calorie strategy to change your mood. Regular walking modifies your nervous system to decrease anger and hostility. So, if you are feeling depressed or sad, you should just take a walk and get some fresh air to feel better.
8. Increases Productivity
Walking regularly can also make you more active and energetic. This, in turn, can increase your productivity. Be it at school or work, your memory, agility, and your reaction to different stimuli will significantly change for the better.
9. Increases Your Creativity
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking,” said philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Take a walk and the blood flow to your brain is increased. It gives you time to consider different aspects of your problems away from the distractions of your office or home. This helps your brain to think strategically and in a more sorted way. Creative ideas and solutions may flow more easily. So, if you are stuck with a problem, take a walk!
10. It helps to improve eyesight
Even though eyes might seem like the last thing to be connected with the legs, walking actually benefits their health too. A new study reports that taking a walk, or participating in any exercise, can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by up to 70%. AMD is a degenerative eye disease in which the light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye stop working. It is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60.
11. Increases Lung Volume
Walking can also increase your lung capacity. When you walk, you breathe in more oxygen as compared to when you are stationary. It helps train your lungs as well as eliminate toxins and waste, thereby increasing your stamina and exercise performance. Due to better and deeper breathing practices some symptoms associated with lung disease may also be relieved.
12. Improves Your Sleep
It’s not twisting ourselves into aerobics or any sort of running or heavy exercises. One simple workout that scientists suggest which helps you sleep better is walking. Frequent walking can help individuals who have trouble sleeping both by helping them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
It is a great way to deal with our stresses and help to manage our moods, which can result in us staying up all night worrying about things like relationships, work, or finances.
In a study with chronic insomnia sufferers, which includes individuals who cannot fall asleep easily as well as individuals who have trouble staying asleep through the night, they found that a moderate-intensity exercise helped reduce the symptoms associated with chronic insomnia.This allows you to believe that even if you are a runner or weight lifter, you should still consider adding walking into your routine, especially if you find yourself having trouble staying asleep or falling asleep.
So if you’re looking to get a little healthier, don’t let yourself believe it is too difficult. Adopting just 20-30 minutes a day of brisk walking can give you all the above benefits and get you feeling better, more confident, and happier.