15 Health Benefits of Walking – A Slow but Steady Way to Health
When we talk about goals for ourselves, the top choice each and every one of us would probably want is to be healthy and fit. Most people have a hard time attaining it because of several factors that prevent it from happening. These factors can range from diet to physical inability and it can cause us to lose motivation in pursuing our goal. Most especially when it comes to exercising, a lot of people tend to give up even before they reach halfway of their program because to the difficulty of being consistent and loss of perseverance. Luckily, there is one exercise that every one of us can do regardless of age, gender or even physical appearance and that is your good old fashioned walking.
Walking, Your Health Partner
All of us can walk and are forced to walk when we want to reach a certain place, complete an activity or even just getting something we need. Walking does not need any excess strenuous force to happen and it is not that hard or tiresome to do. That is the reason why walking is the number one exercise recommended for all of us. It may be a slow process but it can assure us of a gradual yet effective health boost. Your entire body, including all the systems in it, will benefit from your walking exercise. By reaching 10,000 steps a day, you will give enough exercise to your body in order for it to properly regulate each and every bodily function and even fight against diseases and possible illnesses.
Of course, if you are just starting your walking exercise, you will have a hard time reaching the 10,000 steps, but you need not to worry. Start with just minimal steps and shorter time frame and work your way from there once you feel comfortable and used to it. Begin with just 10 minutes of walking with breaks in between. If you are able to adjust to it, go with 30 minutes walking twice a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Also, makes sure to gradually adjust the pacing and distance of your walk so that it will not give too much strain and pressure to your body and heart.
Once you are able to get the flow and hang of walking, you can start to make this regime last longer and your perseverance stronger. Some ideas that you can use to make your walking exercise more interesting and easy are as follows:
- Choose the right outfit to make your exercise more relaxed and enjoyable.
- Always bring a bottle of water each time you exercise.
- Look for a “walking buddy” or better yet, do it in groups.
- Walk with your dog.
- Try walking to the grocery, shops or even to work if it is a favorable walking distance.
- Occasionally change your walking area for a shift of scenery and view.
- Opt to try different times of the day when walking. But make sure you walk a few minutes every morning.
- Mix some exercises along with your walking to up your exercise game like:
- Arm stretching exercises
- Neck stretching exercises
- Deep breathing exercise in between breaks
- Whole body stretching before the start of your walk and cool down once you are done.
- Have a “walking exercise diary” where you can write your progress based on the following:
- Number of steps achieved
- Length of each walk
- Heart rate before and after walking
- Preferred time of the day when you walk better and more effectively.
- Number of breaks you took during each walk
- Make your own “walking exercise” playlist so you can keep track of the time and estimate the number of steps you can get when the whole playlist is done.
Healthy Benefits of Walking
Now that you are convinced on how simple, effective and beneficial walking is as an exercise, you are ready to know the possible health rewards you can get from it. Walking poses a big health benefit but most people take it for granted because they think that walking is not considered as an exercise since it is done every day and with almost everything that we do. Here are a few health boost that you can get when you make walking a daily routine habit.
Your heart will be able to pump better and become stronger when you walk. Since walking does not pose too much stress on your heart, it will not exert too much effort to compensate your exercise. In fact, it will give just enough pumping power to accommodate your walking and would have enough energy to make your other daily activities have its just “heart power” to perform it properly and efficiently.
Similar to swimming, walking requires all of your muscles to work in order for you to achieve it. The only positive difference is that walking does not cause as much bodily strain as swimming does. That is why walking is best for everyone, young or old. You will not need to think of giving “too much” to your body as you do this exercise. It will also give you leaner, stronger and toner muscles all over your body.
Walking allows a better and faster production on our immune boosters like our T-cells, B-cells and the likes. In addition, walking gives a faster release rate of our body’s white blood cells which is essential for our body to heal properly and fight against foreign bodies attacking it.
Cut Down on Weight
Do not be deceived by how easy walking exercises are. Even though it is not as complex as other exercise regime, it will still make you lose weight in a gradual manner. Walking is still an exercise and any form of exercise can burn down fat and make you loose weight.
Walking improves gastric mobility by strengthening your body’s core (which is found on your stomach area) and abdominal muscles. So instead of drinking medication to aid in digestion, start walking and help your gastrointestinal system function properly the natural way.
When your heart is able to pump at a good and strong pace, your circulatory system will have a better and healthier flow. Thus, it will be able to give much needed blood supply to each and every part of your body. So walk more to pump up the volume of your circulation.
A good side effect of walking is your ability to perform better breathing. When you walk, you create a stronger and deeper breathing pattern to compensate your exercise. This method of breathing will make your lungs expand more and become stronger as time goes by.
Slash Those Diseases and Illnesses Away
As previously (and latter on) mentioned, walking is like a door that opens up our body into being active, healthy, strong and fit, once we are able to start our walking regime. Walking allows our body to regulate all of its systems properly and in turn, will make our immunity (along with our entire body) fight better and stronger against certain illnesses and disease like:
- Chronic Heart Diseases
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Diseases
Like how walking can affect your muscles, it will affect your bones as well. It will make your bones become stronger and denser compared tom when you were sedentary. It prevents bone diseases from happening and can even correct your posture, if you exercise in the right and proper from.
Vitamin D Producer
Make it a habit to walk each day in the morning to be able to get that much needed vitamin D. The best time to do so is between eight to ten in the morning. Not only will you be able to soak up the healthy sun but you can also enjoy the cool morning breeze as you exercise.
Scientific studies have stated that physical activity can prevent depression as compared if a person is sedentary. Walking is a highly recommended form of physical activity that can help fight against depression and keep a person in a good mood. So if you feel you need to step out to clear your mind and relax, do so and take a quick 5-10 minutes walks.
Our memory is controlled by a part of our brain called the hippocampus. If sedentary, it starts to shrink as we grow older. By being physically active, we can prevent it from shrinking. Walking can do just that and can help us give a good memory boost.
Stress is inevitable anywhere we go. It is up to us to adjust to it. What better way to do it than by taking a quick walk when you feel the tension creeping down on you. Not only will you feel relaxed when you walk, the added scenery that you will see and the cool air will give you a better peace of mind.
Walking is a great way to socialize with other people. It can be with your “walking buddy” or even your walk group. It can also be a great way for you to meet new friends. Having more and more people to help you maintain and persist in your exercise routine is another key to a successful “walk to health”.
Your Stepping Stone to Reaching Your Other Health Goals
Walking is your “baby step” if you want to have a serious and more complex exercise routine. It will also be your definitive activity to see if you are able to fully commit in reaching your goal. Once you manage to include walking as part of your daily routine, you will be more confident to attain more goals in the future. Having to reach your walking exercise goal can also boost your self-trust and dedication towards anything you set your mind to.
Your overall goal to a successful walking exercise is to reach those 10,000 steps a day and inculcate it into your daily life. All you need to do is to find the right walking route, time if the day and the right attitude that you feel you are most comfortable with. Make sure you do not force yourself or push your body to the limit because walking is suppose to be easy and a more relaxing way to exercise that does not require to strain your body. So enjoy and feel relaxed as you make your way through each and every walk you make.