Surprising Health Benefits of Walking
by Swarnambal John
May 8, 2019
Do you want to be fit but don’t know where to start? Consider walking; it is perhaps the most comfortable form of exercise. Exercise makes you feel happy, helps with weight loss, increases your energy levels, and is beneficial for your muscles and bones.
Moreover, exercise reduces the risk of chronic diseases, boosts your skin and brain health, sharpens your memory, promotes relaxation and sleep and even reduces pain.
You may be a mom like me, juggling home and work responsibilities or a busy dad, student or a senior citizen. Whatever be the case, a simple form of exercise can significantly boost your wellbeing.
Walking is a low skill, low-cost, feasible activity which has the power to improve your health significantly. After the birth of my kids, I was looking for a simple way of exercise that would help me to stay healthy. And walking fit the bill. Unlike, other forms of exercise walking doesn’t require any special equipment or training. It can be done at any time of the day and at your own pace.
Benefits of Walking
Research studies prove that taking a brisk walk in nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels. Also, scientists say that your foot’s impact during walking increases the pressure waves in your arteries and boosts the blood supply to your brain.
In older adults, a week of brisk walking can stave off disability. It is just 10 minutes a day to maintain your independence, and you can do it easily.
Moreover, research studies say that walking burns calories, strengthens your heart, lowers your blood sugar levels, boosts your immunity level and promotes creative thinking. It extends your life and even tones your legs.
How to Get Started
First and foremost get yourself a comfortable pair of sturdy walking shoes. Select a walking route near your home or find a scenic place such as a trail or an area near the beach. Ask your friend or a family member to go with you because a walking buddy is the best form of motivation to exercise.
Alternatively, you can fit your walking schedule into your daily routine. Park your car far away from the office so that you can walk to your office. If you travel by bus or train get off one stop early and walk the distance to your destination. Walk instead of driving while you run your errands.
General Walking Tips
Perform some stretches and warm up exercises before you walk. Start with twenty minutes then increase your walking time gradually. Swing your arms, walk at a steady pace and walk straight. Step your feet in a rolling fashion from your head to your toe.
Do a few stretching exercises to cool down after a brisk walk. Schedule a regular time for a family walk. Consider joining a walking club, or even better you could start one with your friends and neighbors.
Staying Safe While Walking
Look for well-lighted places and walk in the areas designated for pedestrians. Put on a reflective vest to make yourself visible to the approaching cars, especially if you walk in the early morning or evening hours.
Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes with arch support and good heel. Wear sunscreen even on cloudy days. Replenish yourself with liquids before and after your walk.