If you are keen in maintaining your overall health then walking for thirty minutes every day will help to strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, increase cardiovascular fitness; and boost endurance and muscle power. You will also be able to eliminate the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Walking unlike some other forms of exercise is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Walking is low in impact, requires minimal equipment and the best part of walking is that you can do it at any time of the day and at your own pace. Walking also serves as an excellent form of physical activity for people who are elderly, overweight and even those who haven’t exercised in a long time.
When you walk for fun and fitness, you will not be limiting yourself when you stroll all by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. Numerous types of clubs, venues and strategies are available that you can use to make walking a social as well as an enjoyable part of your lifestyle.
Health benefits of walking
When you walk, you carry your own body weight which is referred to as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
- Improved balance and stronger bones
- Improvised management of conditions like that of muscular and joint pain, high cholesterol hypertension as well as stiffness and diabetes
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Increased pulmonary (heart and lung) and cardiovascular fitness
- Reduced body fat
- Reduced risk of stroke and heart disease
- Walking for 30 minutes a day
In order to avail of the maximum health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can. A brisk walk means that you cannot sing but you can still talk and you may be puffing slightly. Disciplined activities like walking bear little health risk but, if you have any sort of a medical condition, it’s always best to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity.
You should try and make walking a routine – for example, every day you should walk at the same time. Remember to use the same amount of energy, irrespective of when you walk. This is why you should do what is easier for you. If you are able to find someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity.
In order to measure the number of steps you take, you can use a pedometer. It can also be used to measure your movement all through the day so that you can compare it with the other days. You may be motivated to move more. In order to avail of the health benefits, you should undertake 10,000 steps or more which is the stipulated number of steps accumulated per day.
Here’s why walking is good for you
- It lowers disease risk: Apart from heart disease, walking as a habit can reduce the chances of your developing asthma, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. It has been revealed that every day when you take more steps it can help keep diabetes at bay.
- It makes a perfect fitness date: If you are interested in catching up with your friends then swapping some happy hours for a walking date means you’ll also be able to indulge in all the gossip you can handle while burning a few calories
- It bolsters your heart: It has been revealed that regular walking helps to minimize stroke and heart disease. It reduces levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and at the same time it also enhances levels of HDL or good cholesterol. Your blood pressure is also kept in check.
- It tones your bum, legs and tummy: When you take a good walk, it can help build up the shape of your legs thereby providing excellent definition to quads, calves, lifting your gluts (buttock muscles) and hamstrings. However, while walking if you keep a check on your posture, it can whittle your waist and tone your abs too.
- It acts as a calorie burner: Walking @ 20-minute-mile pace, it helps to burn every hour some 103 calories which is not bad at all. You can burn some more calories every hour when you pick more pace. You will be able to burn about 118 calories when you undertake a 15-minute-mile pace.
- Walking will be able to ward of that uncomfortable big meal feeling: When you go for a walk after a heavy meal, it will help in digestion and at the same time it will also help fight heartburn.
These are therefore some of the major health benefits of walking.
So, here’s to happy walking and a happy you!