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With Christmas around the corner it can only mean diet debauchery, abandoned fitness routines and five hour TV marathons … but it doesn’t have to be this way. Ok, so you’re not much into running and an influx of family and visitors are going to make it difficult for you to do your usual workout … before you blow off your fitness routine, get inspired!
Greek physician Hippocrates viewed walking as “man’s best medicine”. But will a walk really do you that much good? Does walking have health benefits that are truly significant?
Maybe you’ve been sedentary for a while. No problem. Just get started, even if it’s a few minutes every day.
Here’s why walking rocks:
Walking helps you lose weight
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 up your walks into 10 – 15 minutes each. According to the journal Appetite, a 15 minute walk reduces sugar cravings. So, work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed those kilos in no time.
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 helps 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 aids in preventing dementia
Regular walking could avoid 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 tones up legs, bums and tums
Looking for definition to you calves, quads and hamstrings? This is it! Add hill-walking into the mix and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.
Walking is a form of meditation
Let your mind tune out from all the chatter. Find your inner peace by being mindful of your surroundings.
Walking boosts Vitamin D
A vitamin D deficiency affects bone health and immune systems. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your Vitamin D-fix.
Walking boosts energy and makes you happy
This natural energizer boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Like other physical activities, walking triggers the release of endorphins, brain chemicals, that relieve pain and stimulate relaxation; producing a sense of calm and 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!
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.