The Health Benefits of Walking
You don’t need to be power-lifting in the gym or running marathons to be healthy. Did you know that walking not only helps you to lose weight but also prevent diabetes and breast cancer?
All you need to do is start with regular walking, and you will soon be feeling more energetic, more active, more attentive, and happier.
Here are more Health Benefits of Walking:
Mental Health: Walking promotes mental well-being. Known as a great stress-buster, if you walk outdoors, the combination of fresh air and exercise is an excellent way to boost your morale and mood.
Bone Health: Walking about 30 minutes a day increases your bone density and slows down bone loss in your legs. This low-impact exercise targets your legs, spine, and hips.
Depression: Walking is proven to prevent anxiety and depression because it triggers endorphins and promotes relaxation.
A Healthy Heart: Walking helps prevent type 2 diabetes- studies at Harvard have revealed that walking approximately 150 minutes per week can reduce the risk of diabetes. The same studies showed that walking at a moderate pace (3 to 4 mph) for up to 3 hours each week (30 minutes a day) can cut women’s heart disease risk by 40%. Another study showed that retired men who walk more than 1.5 miles per day had a significantly lower risk for heart disease (compared to men who walk less).
Help Combat Cancer: A Harvard University study showed that women who walked 1 to 3 hours per week had risk of death from breast and uterine cancer reduced by 19%. When they walked 3 to 5 hours per week, their risks of the same cancers were reduced by 54%. Men who walk briskly for at least 3 hours a week after being diagnosed with prostate cancer were 57% less likely to see the disease progress.
Brain Health: Walking regularly reduces brain atrophy and mental decline, resulting in a 50% reduction in risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia where thinking, memory and behavior deteriorate over time. Exercising as you age has also proven to reduce brain shrinkage.
Lowers Blood Pressure: Studies have proven a decrease in blood pressure in those who followed a walking exercise similar to the recommended 30 minutes per day, five times a week.
Arteries Unclogged: A study from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that exercise before a meal may help stem the effects of high-fat foods on blood vessel function. Walking is good for the heart and its arteries and vessels in many ways, including stemming build-up and clogging of arterial walls, which keep blood circulating throughout the body, to organs and limbs.
Walking Combats Arthritis and Strengthens Joints: Knee arthritis sufferers were able to increase the distance walked by 18% and gained nearly 40% boost in joint function after finishing an 8-week walking study. They also experienced significantly less pain and needed less medication after walking.
Weight loss: Walking one mile (1.6km) will burn up at least 100kcal of energy. Walking two miles (3.2km) a day, three times a week, will help reduce weight by approximately one pound (0.5kg) every three weeks. Another benefit of walking is that walking alters your body’s fat metabolism so that you lose weight.
Helps Pregnant Women: Just one in four pregnant women get the 150 minutes of exercise a week that is recommended. A good walking program can ease pregnancy effects like backaches, constipation, and sleep problems. The baby benefits, too: Exercising moms-to-be deliver babies with healthier birth weights, which lowers their risk for weight problems later on.