With the constant hustle of trying to make ends meet, most people rush to catch a bus or drive to work. We barely have enough time to exercise, and some of the options available are expensive such as subscriptions to a gym. However, in our bid to keep fit, we tend to overlook the free choice of walking. The benefits of walking are numerous so let’s take a look at some:
Improved blood circulation
Walking for 30 minutes every day will help your body circulate blood properly which in turn leads to:
Better supply of oxygen to the brain thus improved brain function
Reduces the risk of blood clots by reducing levels of LDL cholesterol
Reduced cholesterol levels lower risk of stroke.
Walking is a low impact exercise which helps to strengthen your bones which are bound to weaken with age. Strong bones in effect translate to:
Reduced risk of osteoporosis, injury, and fractures
Better posture and balance
Decreased risk of arthritis
Reduced pain for those who already have arthritis.
Remaining inactive after taking a meal can lead to digestion problems such as bloating, constipation and colon cancer. Walking, therefore, results in:
Healthy digestive system
Improved gastric mobility
Increased respiratory function
Taking a walk especially in the countryside away from the fumes of the city exposes your lungs to large amounts of fresh air which then causes:
Increased lung capacity
Increased stamina and performance
Since walking improves blood circulation, the blood consequently supplies oxygen and nutrients to body cells. It, therefore, helps to:
Decrease production of stress hormones
Stimulate the nervous system receptors
Keeps muscles healthy
Our muscles waste away also as we get older but when we walk, we help to
Strengthen and tone muscles
Reduce risk of varicose veins by reducing restlessness and related swelling
Minimizes the onset of varicose veins for those who are predisposed to the condition
Prevents muscle loss
Reduces risk of diabetes
According to the American Diabetes Association, waking helps in:
Lowering blood sugars by up to 11 points
Treating type 2 diabetes by taking 3000 to 7500 steps per day.
Helps to fight cancer
Cancer is a global epidemic that we can now alleviate with walking since leading a sedentary lifestyle is one of the predisposing factors. Walking works by:
Reducing side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients
Reduces risk of breast cancer
Regulates blood pressure
Low and high blood pressure can have fatal effects, but walking helps such that:
It drops the blood pressure for those suffering from high blood pressure
Regular walking keeps blood levels regulated
Sometimes we face a mental block, and no matter how long we sit around, we have no results to show for whatever it is we are trying to do. However, we can help kick our creativity levels quickly by taking a walk since it:
Calms our nerves
Relaxes the brain
Helps in socializing and support causes
Nowadays most organizations use walks to further their noble objectives such as peace thereby when you take a walk you will:
Help make a notable contribution to your society
Build a broader social network by making new friends
We all would want to have a younger-looking body and walking presents the fountain of youth. It will help to:
Can activate the telomerase enzymes which are DNA parts responsible for maintaining DNA integrity
Prevents age-related problems
Helps in the production of vitamin D
For your body to produce vitamin D, it needs exposure to the sun. Going for a walk when the sun is not too hot such as during morning hours will help your body to produce vitamin D which is essential for:
Better absorption of calcium that leads to healthy bones and teeth
Fighting type 2 diabetes
Boosting the immune system
Helps in weight loss
Walking helps you to lose weight by increasing your metabolism. An increased metabolism implies a higher rate of burning calories as well as reducing body fat. With the adverse effects of being obese or overweight, losing weight will have multiple benefits to your overall health, not forgetting it boosts your self-esteem.
Staying fit can put a dent in your pockets and drain bank savings. Subscribing to a gym has its costs, and so does buying exercise equipment to install in the home, not forgetting the suitable clothes and shoes. Fortunately, walking does not cost a thing, whether you decide to walk in flip-flops or wear a t-shirt, so long as you are comfortably dressed depending on the weather, you are good to go. Harvard experts add that each time you walk, you reduce future health bills by $2.71.
Getting the right amount of sleep is essential to kick-start your day in a high note, but sometimes we cannot seem to sleep no matter how hard we try. Taking a walk will improve your chances of getting longer and quality sleep, as per meta-analysis of sleep researchers.
Staying indoors can be depressing and before you rush for that bottle of medication, try walking. The outdoors have so much to offer, from pleasant gardens to fresh air; your mood will instantly get a boost.
Walking is the cheapest form of exercise to keep our bodies healthy. The fact that it is low-impact makes it suitable for everyone, both the elderly and the young. Besides, you can make it a family activity which will also give you time to be together. So, have you walked today?