Doctors and health experts are constantly emphasizing the importance of regular exercise, as a great way to improve overall health and prevent all kinds of ailments and disease.
Apparently, walking is one of the most beneficial activities you can practice, since only a 15-minutes daily walk can add 7 years to life, and lower the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiac death, and strokes.
Ann Green, M.S., past heptathlon world athlete, yoga teacher and fitness studio owner, claims that there are multiple reasons to walk for exercise, since:
“Walking improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain, can prevent weight gain, reduce the risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture, and the list goes on…”
Walking offers much more health benefits, and these are the most important ones:
-- Lower blood pressure- Moderate intensity walking lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease
-- Prevents diabetes- Walking for at least 30 minutes daily lowers diabetes by 30% and burns the dangerous belly fat
-- Improves mood- It boosts mood, and boosts attentiveness and self-confidence
-- Relieves pain and improves mobility- Walking alleviates joint and muscle pain and improves mobility in the case of peripheral artery disease (PAD)
-- Lowers cancer risk- Studies have found that women who walk for at least 7 hours weekly reduce their breast cancer risk by 14%, while men who walk for at least 3 hours weekly reduce the risk of the recurrence of prostate cancer
-- Improves cognitive performance- Walking positively affects the cognitive performance in children and adults
In order to get the most out of walking, you should follow these tips:
- Always wear comfortable shoes with flexible soles
- Take small, but fast steps to burn more calories; you should also try an incline walk
- Make sure your body is in a correct posture, with the chin parallel to the ground, the shoulders down, back, and away from the ears
- You should also swing the arms
There is always a chance to walk more during the day. You can walk your dog in the afternoon or in the morning, walk with a friend, take a quick walk during the lunch break, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and even try “walk and talk” meetings at work. Also, always park your car further than your destination, and walk to get there.
According to John Ford, certified exercise physiologist, who runs JKF Fitness & Health in New York City:
“Walking is a really good form of exercise and can help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals. As a lifelong track athlete, who has marveled at race walkers, I don’t scoff at walking. In fact, walking is the suggested workout over running for many people.
For example, those with knee, ankle and back problems and also for people who are overweight to obese. Walking is a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.”
Walking offers a myriad of benefits to people of all ages. It will help you relax the mind, prevent various health issues, and get into shape. Therefore, start today, and reap all these benefits!