Walk Your Way to a Healthier Tomorrow
Walking is often the first exercise doctors recommend us when we complain of something related to weight. It is also the first step we take to reduce weight or reduce that extra fat on the tummy. However, walking is not only a stepping stone to a lean body; it is something which refreshes our mind, clears our thought process and helps our body fight invading diseases. Staying healthy has been an important point of concern for us, so let’s see how you can walk your way to a better lifestyle.
1. It strengthens your heart
Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers levels bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check.
Doctors strongly believe that anything that raises one’s heart rate and gets blood pumping is a workout for the heart and circulatory system, also known as cardiovascular exercise. According to the Indian Medical Association, walking briskly for up to 30 minutes can help prevent and control the high blood pressure that can cause strokes – reducing your risk by up to 27 per cent.
2. It lowers disease risk
Walking has been known to ward away heart diseases. It has even been known to keep away Type II diabetes and cancer of the colon, breasts and the womb. Walking also keeps your immune system strong and helps fight ailments better. It also helps improve one’s posture.
3. It keeps weight in check
To lose weight, basic mathematics suggests that one needs to burn around 600 calories more than what one consumes in a day. Running, cycling and swimming will definitely help, but people tend to be more regular with walks, which makes walking the best way to reduce weight. A study conducted by an American health agency shows that a person weighing 60 kg burns 75 calories simply by strolling at 2 mph for 30 minutes. Walking also increases the metabolism rate, which means that calories are burnt even while resting-that’s how effective walking is.
4. It gives you energy
It might seem like a paradox but a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers. It boosts blood circulation and increases oxygen supply to each and every cell in the body and one feels more alert and alive. It wakes up stiff joints and eases muscle tension so you feel less sluggish. In fact, any sort of physical helps stimulate the body and mind, but walking is the easiest. Irrespective of the circumstances, one should take out at least half an hour for a walk.
5. Improves brainpower
As already mentioned, walking stimulates blood flow, and provides oxygen to the brain. This leads to improved functioning of the brain and better ability to recall. Students doing some sort of physical activity have been known to perform better than those who stayed put in their chairs. A moderate dose of physical activity is also known to lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in seniors.
6. It makes you happy
The ability of exercise to boost mood is undisputed. Studies have shown that regular, moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking is as effective as antidepressants in cases of mild to moderate depression. Activity releases endorphin’s into the bloodstream, which are basically responsible for the ‘feel-good’ sensation in the mind and body. This reduces stress and anxiety.
7. It is a great way to socialize
In today’s technology ridden world, walking is the best way to socialize. One can have proper, meaningful conversations while actually benefiting from all the advantages of walking. Be it a group of people, or that special someone, walking with someone is the best way to exchange thought. The best part is that distances become magically shorter when walking with someone.
Physical activity in all forms is good for the heart, body and mind. However, with people’s lives getting busier each day, one might not find time to go to a gym, go swimming or cycling. Jogging requires a lot of dedication itself. Walking is the easiest and most convenient of physical activity. Be it with a group or alone with your favorite songs playing, brisk or slow, a walk is energizing for the mind and body alike. Aristotle had good foresight when, so many years ago, he mentioned how walking was the best form of exercise. So what are you waiting for? Grab some shoes and walk your way to a healthier tomorrow!