Top 5 Benefits of Walking (You Might Not Have Known About)
Alongside being an enjoyable pastime, walking is also an excellent workout. When compared to other physical activity, walking as an exercise is an accessible sport that can be easily adjusted to a busy lifestyle. Not all people can be engaged in jogging or cycling, but walking for fitness is something nearly everyone can do. There are no negative side effects of walking, which is also very important. In ancient times Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine, once said: “Walking is the best medicine for a man”. This statement is still relevant today and the number of scientific studies have confirmed it and proved the benefits of walking.
1. Walking is good for health
According to studies, the simple act of walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 31% and the risk of death by 32%. That is why you may find such a term as cardio walking.
The benefits of walking everyday are obvious even when a person goes as little as 7 miles a week at a leisurely pace of 3 mph. Though it has been proven that people who are in the habit of walking fast are more resistant to various diseases.
Along with being healthy for a heart workout, cardio walking also regulates blood pressure, strengthens bones, lowers the level of cholesterol, improves sleep and tones muscles. Walking reduces the risk of breast cancer and in many cases prevents the development of type 2 diabetes. It is also a great cure for chronic back pain. Are you still wondering, “Is walking good exercise?”
2. Walking is a type of sport
Every step boosts your energy, increases the level of hormones and enhances well-being due to the release of certain chemicals in the brain. The heart rate jumps from 70 to 100-150 beats per minute, thus more blood and oxygen go to the muscles. Every minute of cardio walking a person burns 5 calories and continues to burn them during an hour after the walk even when resting. The number of calories burned depends on the person’s weight. The larger the weight, the more the person burns per mile. For example, a 158 lb person burns about 105 calories for mile, while 220 lb person burns minimum 135 calories covering the same distance.
We shouldn’t forget about walking benefits for weight loss. Most adults over 20 years old start gaining about 2 lbs per year. It has been shown that people who love hiking, another form of walking, scored very low weight gaining compared to less active people.
3. Walking helps to stay young
Many scientists believe that the aging processes can be slowed or even stopped for some time by people who are active. The thing is that any activity that speeds up a heart rate, reduces the inflammation associated with aging. In that context, cardio for weight loss turns into cardio for youthful vigor. After having studied men and middle-aged women for 10 years, scientists proved that people engaged in at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise each day (or 2.5 hours per week) had a lower level of protein in the body, compared to sluggish people. Therefore, cardio walking increases life expectancy – every hour of walking adds two hours to your life!
4. Walking is uplifting
A half-hour walk each day energizes you and lifts your mood. Other benefits of walking everyday are increased energy, reduced stress and improved self-esteem. Although it is not entirely clear why physical activity has a positive effect on the emotional well-being, we do know that neurotransmitters (endorphins included) that make us feel happier, are released when a person exercises. As a result, a person can communicate better with other people, solve problems more effectively, and gain confidence.
5. Walking is almost free
Is walking good exercise? We found it really is; moreover, it doesn’t demand additional expenses. You will only need a pair of good running shoes, which you can actually wear anywhere you like. There is no need to buy special equipment or gym memberships. You can easily build cardio walking into your busy lifestyle in the most suitable way without rescheduling or canceling appointments. For example, you can walk to your office instead of driving there, you could walk to lunch, you could walk during your lunch hour, or you could just walk around the block after work. It sounds like you save, not spend on walking.
Stay young, stay healthy, and keep on walking!