Hope you’re doing well!
The overwhelming majority of us humans have been blessed with the ability to walk. However, with our ever increasing sedentary lifestyle fewer of us are taking advantage of this ability.
If you are anything like me and you don’t have any formal exercise routine, walking can be a great way to start your journey towards living a more active lifestyle. Although walking may not replace a more rigorous exercise routine it can provide numerous health benefits.
It is important to mention that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity. The CDC mentions that one way to meet this recommendation is through brisk walking. Although this post only focuses on walking the CDC also recommends performing muscle strengthening activities at least two times a week.
Some of the physical benefits of walking include:
Walking improves our blood circulation which helps maintain a healthy heart. Research shows that walking regularly can protect us from heart disease and over time can strengthen the heart. Also, walking can help reduce blood pressure.
Bone, Muscle, and Joint Health:
For those who suffer from osteoporosis walking can help stop the loss of bone mass. Walking also tones and strengthens the leg and abdominal muscles. Walking is especially important for joint health because the joint cartilage does not have a direct blood supply and so the only way our joints get the vital nutrition that they need is if we move.
Research shows that walking can help relieve some of the effects of insomnia allowing for better sleep.
Walking at a brisk pace can help burn calories which can eventually lead to weight loss. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight walking can help you maintain a healthy figure.
Walking also benefits our mental health and well-being.
A study by Cal State Long Beach revealed that the more steps people took in a day the better their mood was. Also, walking releases endorphins which are natural pain killers.
A study by the University of California San Francisco showed that age related memory decline was lower in people who walked.
Lowers Risk of Alzheimer’s:
A study of men between the ages of 71 and 93 showed that those that walked more than a quarter mile a day had a decreased rate of incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The excuse that most of us use is that we don’t have time to walk. However, recent research shows that we can break up our exercise routine into short periods of exercise performed multiple times a day.
The most important step we can take for our own well-being is to simply start walking a few minutes a day and gradually work our way up in increasing our time and speed.