Walking has been an integral part of our lives since humankind came into existence. It traces its history to the nomads, gypsies, and clans who moved from one place to another for food and water. Cut to the 21st century. Today, it is synonymous with sports, agitations, solo travels, and explorations, and also considered a safe avenue to counter a myriad of health issues—short-term and chronic. The modern benefits of walking have transformed our perspective dramatically.
Does walking really help fight health anomalies? Read on to find the answer.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Here is an eye-opener. It has been found that walking for just thirty minutes every day and five days a week reduces the chances of stroke by 30% and that of type-2 diabetes by 40%. The idea is to start walking for 10 to 15 minutes and gradually increase the duration. This form of activity does wonders for overall cardiovascular health, including improved blood flow and blood pressure.
Weight Management and Fat Loss
The benefits of walking daily are irrefutable, but if you are seeking weight reduction / fat loss, then brisk walking becomes mandatory. It is a mild form of cardio. Remember, you need to burn fat and not calories. The former will actually help you reduce weight because you shed solid mass from your body. Unlike carbohydrates and sugars, fat tends to accumulate, especially around the waist. The idea is to metabolise fats.
Enhanced Mood and Mental Well-Being
The human brain releases different hormones in different situations and activities. Walking typically expels happy hormones, including a monoamine neurotransmitter called dopamine and an analgesic chemical called endorphins. Dopamine infuses a feeling of well-being, while endorphins reduce pain factor. Both hormones typically reach our brain through carriers, popularly called receptors. So, the next time you feel low, get out and get going. The results are almost instantaneous.
Lowered Risk of Chronic Diseases
Although some of the health benefits of walking are still in their early stages, and more studies need to be done, it is well-known that walking after every meal, at least for 10 to 15 minutes, reduces blood sugar levels. Make sure you imbibe this habit if you are health conscious or lead a sedate professional life.
Strengthened Muscles and Bones
One of the benefits of walking backwards or forward is improved muscle mass and bone density. How? The reason is that it is one of the best weight-bearing exercises. Walking affects our knees, calves, hamstring, and lower limb externally; while internally, it nurtures cartilage, stimulates the blood vessels, and improves joint lubrication. The effect of walking is extremely positive. Many individuals experience instant pain relief and reduced osteoarthritis conditions. Walking also makes muscles stronger and healthier, reducing falling episodes and fractures.
Better Joint Flexibility and Mobility
How does walking help alleviate pain and improve mobility? At the very outset, walking helps reduce/manage weight, decreasing undue pressure on hip and knee joints. Secondly, walking helps produce and spread joint lubricant, a natural cushion that offers our joints the required flexibility. A 5-day, 30-minute walking regime also reduces muscle and joint pain due to improved blood circulation and resilience.
Boosted Immune System
Benefits of morning walks, especially brisk walking, include improved blood flow. This allows white blood corpuscles to move freely within our circulatory system. WBCs are like biological warriors, immunity cells that fight against viruses, bacteria, and other foreign particles, safeguarding us from the resultant illnesses such as cold and flu. A recent study confirmed this hypothesis. People who walked 15 to 20 minutes daily, 5 days a week, showed better health parameters than those who walked for fewer hours.
Increased Energy Levels
Walking influences our heart rate. This translates into a highly efficient circulatory system. So, how does improved blood circulation help increase energy levels? The answer is by providing greater amounts of oxygen and nutrients. This invariably results in increased energy levels. Certain endorphins, too, play an important role by enhancing alertness and feel-good factor.
Improved Digestion and Metabolism
It is an open secret that walking boosts metabolism. Improved metabolic activity means enhanced fat-burning and greater digestive functioning. All this leads to a gut that is not just healthy and performing at an optimal level but also reduces bloating and digestive issues such as IBS and constipation. One of the proverbial benefits of walking every day for 15 to 20 minutes after meals is improved digestion and metabolism.
Enhanced Sleep Quality and Restfulness
Quality sleep and timely rest go a long way in recouping energies and allowing the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. Lack of sleep can give birth to several chronic illnesses and play havoc with cognitive and psychological health. Walking releases a hormone called Serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and memory functions. It sends positive signals to the brain post-walking, which invariably leads to quality sleep.
Read More: The Role of Diet in Reversing Diabetes: Exploring Different Approaches
The benefits of walking 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, apart from other walking regimes, reduce weight, improve the immune system, and offer a sense of profound wellness and sleep. Walking slows down the process of bone deterioration, called osteoporosis, and at the same time alleviates pain and inflammation. Interestingly, walking does not require specialists unless you are partially/completely physically impaired.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?