Walking has numerous health benefits. It is the simplest form of low-impact exercise that can be done by anyone, anywhere.
- Walking improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces the risk of heart diseases.
- Walking has shown improvements in muscle strength and endurance. It helps in the toning of leg and abdominal muscles. If you swing your arms while walking, your arms will also get a good workout.
- It helps in burning calories and losing fat. Calorie burn depends on the speed at which you walk and how far do you walk. Thus, walking aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Walking promotes healthy digestion. Regular walking improves metabolism and bowel movement too.
- Walking is a good form of weight-bearing exercise to make bones strong. It also helps in the prevention of osteoporosis.
- Walking reduces the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Regular walking helps in controlling sugar and blood pressure levels.
- Walking is a great mood enhancer. The enhanced mood is due to the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline after a simple walk. Researches have shown that walking increases the flow of ideas and increases creativity too.
- Improvement in attention, focus, and reaction time have been recorded with regular walking.
- Improved sleep. Walking eases stress and helps you sleep better. Good quality sleep is highly beneficial for the body and mind.
- Walking boosts immune function as it increases blood flow, white blood cells and reduces stress and inflammation.
Walking for 30 minutes a day, for 5-7 days/week is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health.
Tips for Walking–
- Wear comfortable clothes and well-fitted walking shoes.
- Start gradually for 15-20 minutes, then gradually increase the time each week. Target to walk for 30-45 minutes. You can progress to an hour if you are comfortable.
- Walk at a comfortable pace. Later on, you can increase it. You should be able to talk while walking briskly without overexerting yourself.
- Maintain good hydration levels while walking, especially in hot weather.
- You can ask a friend to join you for a walk for a company, or you can listen to motivating and uplifting music, or an audiobook while walking.
- You can use a fitness watch or pedometer to gauge your steps. Start with 3000-4000steps/day, build up to 7500 steps a day gradually. Increase your step by around 10% per week. With practice, you can move on to 10,000 steps a day.
- Persistent fatigue and sore muscles are the signs that you are walking too fast or too much. Walk within your capabilities.
- Always warm-up for 5-10 minutes with slow pace walking or stretching your calf, hams, and quads. Take 5-10 minutes to cool off too.
- In later stages, you can try walking uphill, or using ankle weight cuffs, or carrying weights in hand for an intense walking workout.
So, what are you waiting for? Walk on your way to health and have fun.
ENJOY WALKING AND STAY HEALTHY!