So, you’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon over the festive season, and, also, let’s be honest, dragging yourself off the couch to go for a run feels pretty much impossible. You know what? It’s ok! Say what now?
True, exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. But, many people have the wrong conception about what exercise should entail. Exercise doesn’t have to be a grueling run or a massive deadlift. It can be as simple as, yes, a walk in the park … no, seriously!
So, before you surrender to your TV remote, consider going for a brisk walk. Greek physician Hippocrates viewed walking as “man’s best medicine.” Why? Does walking truly have health benefits that are significant?
So, why walk?
- Walking strengthens your heart. Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. This great cardio exercise lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. A brisk 30 minute walk every day will help to prevent and control high blood pressure, reducing the risk of a stroke by 27%.
- Walking lowers the risk of disease. Dr Carl Casperson of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, said: “Going from being sedentary to walking briskly for a half an hour several days in a week can drop your risk of disease dramatically.” A regular walking habit could slash the risk of Type 2 diabetes by around 60% and you’re 20% less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb when going on regular walks.
- Walking helps you to lose weight. This may seem obvious, but it’s certainly a happy benefit. You’ll burn around 75 calories simply by briskly walking for 30 minutes. Up your speed and you’ll burn even more! If you’re busy – like most of us – you can split your walks up into 10 – 15 minutes each.
- Walking will cause a major dip in snack cravings. According to the journal Appetite, a 15 minute walk reduces sugar cravings. So, work that short walk into your daily routine and shed those kilos in no time!
- Walking increases productivity and creativity. A 2014 Stanford research study shows that our creative output increases by a whopping 60% when we’re walking!
- Walking curbs stress. Recent studies found that office workers, who walked for 30 minutes during their lunch break, three times a week, saw positive results – immediately. Asked how they felt after returning to work, they reported feeling more relaxed than before they took the stroll.
- According to the NIH, a daily stroll will strengthen your immune system.
- Walking could make you smarter. A recent study at the University of Illinois suggests that regular walking improves the connectivity of important brain circuits.
- Walking aids in preventing dementia. Regular walking could prevent brain shrinkage and preserve memory. Since dementia affects one in 14 people over 65, and one in six over 80; it’s a pretty good idea.
- Walking boosts your mood. Like other physical activities, walking triggers the release of endorphins curbing depression and producing a sense of well-being.
So, put your best foot forward and walk your way to better health. Most studies show benefits after regular 15 to 30 minute walks … that’s a lunch break, parking in the furthest lot, or a quick jaunt around the block. It’s doable; you just have to do it!
Source: www.womanshealthmag.com, alignlife.com, www.readersdiges.ca, www.huffingtonpost.com, www.berkeleywellness.com, www.healthline.com, health.clevelandclinic.org, www.prevention.com, www.bustle.com, bigalsfamilyfitness.com, www.theguardian.com, www.heart.org, www.tescoliving.com, www.dailymail.co.uk, www.livingandloving.co.za, www.marksdailyapple.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.