In this post I will talk about the health benefits of walking.
There are numerous physical activities that one can undertake for better health, but among them regular walking is the most effective and the easiest. In my previous article, I had talked about why you should walk and had discussed the different benefits of walking in terms of health, mental, social, environmental and financial factors.
In this post I will focus specifically on the health benefits of regular brisk walking.
Regular means everyday, without fail.
Physical fitness experts and doctors generally recommend at least 30 minutes of brisk walk per day or 150 minutes per week. Again there are many health advocacy groups who have recommend a daily 10,000 steps walking goal.
Whatever be the quantum, the keyword is daily. Walking for 5 days for 1 hour and then a 5 day break will definitely not be as effective as 30 minutes of daily walk for 10 days.
10 Health Benefits of Walking
- Regular Walking reduces bad cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol. Studies have shown that regular walking leads to lower risk of heart diseases and stroke and increased heart and lung fitness. One study has show that women who walked at a brisk pace had a lower chance of having a stroke than those who didn’t walk. Source.
- Daily Walking helps to improve blood pressure. One can walk continuously for 30 minutes or engage in short bouts totaling 30 minutes. A study has shown that both are equally effective in reducing systolic blood pressure.
- Daily Walking helps to improve blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that daily walking reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- Walking helps to maintain body weight. Studies have shown that walking just after a meal is more effective for weight loss than waiting 1 hour after eating before walking.
- You can reduce your risk of obesity if you walk regularly. While walking will not help one to shed a lot of weight or develop six pack abs, studies have shown that regular walking helps people lose some body fat.
- Walking daily strengthens bones and joints and prevents the onset of diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. This also leads to improved balance. One study has shown that even in older adults with osteoarthritis, walking along with weight lifting helps to improve balance.
- Walking outside in daylight provides Vitamin D to your body. Vitamin D promotes healthy bones by facilitating the absorption of calcium. Source.
- Walking can help strengthen legs and arm muscles and this has a direct impact of all associated muscles and joints like thighs, calves, hamstrings, shoulders and so on. This will significantly reduce joint and muscular stiffness and pain.
- Studies have shown that daily walking reduces the risk of breast and colon cancer. Here are two studies. Results of this study supports an inverse association between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer. This study indicates that brisk walking after diagnosis may inhibit or delay prostate cancer progression among men diagnosed with clinically localized prostate cancer.
- Finally you should walk regularly if you want to live longer. As per a study, adding 150 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine can increase your life span by up to 3 years.
That’s it for today. Hope you found this write-up on health benefits of walking useful and informative.
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References and Further Reading
- Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking Everyday
- Why Start Walking
- Walking for good health
- 17 Reasons to Walk More this Year
- Image Source
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