Walking Your Way to Better Health

 

Walking is more than basic transportation for humans, it is an important tool used in gaining optimum health. Those who make walking a regular part of their routine experience numerous benefits. One of the greatest advantages to walking is that it does not take more than a sturdy pair of walking shoes and a destination to get started. Walking is a good exercise for people of all ages and is one of the most recommended forms of exercise for the middle-aged, elderly, and obese. Those who have succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle can see vast improvements in their health simply by beginning a walking program. Walking helps promote weight loss, increase bone density, strength, can reduce anxiety, and depression by improving mental health, helps reduce Diabetes impact, can lower cholesterol, and helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. As with any exercise, check with your health care provider before beginning a walking routine.

Walking helps in Weight Loss

Walking is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and for those who are currently obese, it a safer, gentler exercise than many other activities. Those new to walking will find they do not have to try to perform a certain amount of reps, or walk for hours on end to see results. It is best for beginners to simply walk at a pace they are comfortable with, for a period they are comfortable with. Those who choose walking as their primary work out do not need to worry about “no pain no gain.” Instead, walk as fast as you can for as long as you can, ensuring that you can still hold a conversation while you are walking. Time yourself and you will be amazed at how quickly you will begin walking longer distances. Some new to walking begin with just 10-minute sessions, and then build their walking time by adding five-minute increments of exercise. Walking burns calories, helps promote circulation, and is gentle on joints. Those who need to lose weight will find walking is an excellent exercise.

Improve Bone Density by Walking

Senior women are at an advanced risk of developing osteoporosis, because of losing bone density. Walking is a safe, yet effective exercise that helps strengthen bones, preventing bone loss. Those who walk at a brisk pace put additional pressure on their legs, which helps create additional benefits from the exercise. Once someone begins to find a brisk walk of at least 20 minutes effortless, he or she can add wrist or ankle weights to increase bone density.

Improve Mental Health by Walking

Another added benefit to walking is the exercise has positive results for those dealing with mental health issues. Conditions such as depression and anxiety have been reduced by incorporating a walking, fitness routine into the lifestyle. Walking helps promote endorphins in the brain, which helps increase mood and create feelings of euphoria. As those dealing with depression may overeat, sleep excessively, and indulge in drugs including alcohol, walking can greatly reduce these negative effects. Aim for walking at least 20 minutes a day, 3xs a week, but a goal of 1-hour a day is attainable and a healthy strategy to combat the impacts of depression, mood disorders, and anxiety.

Fight Diabetes by Walking

Those who have Diabetes are often encouraged to walk, as the exercise is simple, safe, and effective. Walking between half an hour and one hour per day can help keep weight under control, promote circulation, and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Though walking is a safe exercise, those with Diabetes should speak to their health care provider before beginning a fitness program. Diabetics should ensure their feet are healthy enough to endure walking every day.

Walking Helps Lower Cholesterol

Walking on a regular basis can help promote weight loss, bring blood sugar levels into balance, and help lower cholesterol level. By incorporating between 30 minutes and 60 minutes of walking per day, one can successfully lose weight and reduce cholesterol levels. Always check with your health care physician before starting a new fitness routine. Walking helps increase HDL or good cholesterol levels, which in turn, reduces bad cholesterol (LDL).

Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s by Walking

Research has shown that walking at least six miles per week can help lower the risks of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have also shown a correlation between depression and Alzheimer’s, as those who have depression in their adult years are at a greater Alzheimer’s risk. Walking has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety and this may factor into why walking can help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s. Walking is not only good for the body and weight loss, but it helps promote healthy brain activity.

Edward Siceloff - Author Biography

By Edward Siceloff

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