Walk your Way to Health
by MedPlus Team, December 3, 2016
One exercise that is easily within anyone’s reach and yet delivers amazing health benefits is WALKING. Walking is simple, natural, and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight, become healthier and lighter at almost no cost.
To get the health benefits, walk for at least 30 minutes on most days as briskly as you can. You can start and increase the time and pace gradually. Your pace is considered brisk if you are breaking into a sweat and just getting out of breath. Some of the benefits you can expect are:
Improves your circulation and BP: Walking improves the circulation of blood and lowers blood pressure and strengthens your heart.
Extends your life: A study published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association” says that older adults who typically walk 1 meter per second or faster live longer. Increasing the daily number of steps a person takes is linked to living longer.
Helps you to lose weight: Walking when combined with a judicious diet can help you to lose weight. A brisk 30-minute walk can burn around 200 calories.
Walking Helps you sleep better: Walking improves sleep as it works your muscles and provides relief from stress, anxiety, and depression that can interfere with getting a restful night sleep.
Improves your breathing: Brisk walking increases your breathing rate and exercises your respiratory muscles. It also causes oxygen to travel faster through the bloodstream, helping to eliminate waste products and improve your energy level and the ability to heal.
Strengthens muscles: Disciplined walking leads not only to burning of calories but also improves your muscle and bone strength.
Elevates mood & eases pains: Exercise releases endorphins in the body which make you feel elated and lighten your mood. They also have a natural pain killing ability.
Strengthens and supports your joints: The majority of joint cartilage in our body has no direct blood supply. It gets its nutrition from the synovial or joint fluid that circulates as we move. The impact that comes from movement or compression, such as walking, “squishes” the cartilage, bringing oxygen and nutrients into the area. If you don’t walk, joints are deprived of life-giving fluid, which can speed their deterioration.
Helps pregnant women: Walking is a good healthy workout during pregnancy to keep your fit and provide protection from gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. It also eases child birth.
Improves sugar control in diabetes: If you are a diabetic patient you must walk. Walking not only keeps your weight under control but also reduces the requirement for insulin and other diabetic medicines. It leads to reduced insulin resistance and inflammation.
Improves Memory: Walking helps to improve memory and thinking ability. Daily exercise leads to increased blood supply and growth of new blood vessels in the brain.