7 Surprising Benefits to Walking

7 Surprising Benefits to Walking

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

7 Surprising Benefits to Walking

Before the advent of cars, walking was a staple in the lives of most people throughout the United States. As common as breathing—and more common than bathing—walking was a primary mode of transportation whose benefits were taken for granted in the simple course of getting from point A to point B. Of course, time and technology have progressed to where walking is a less necessity and more a lifestyle, but the benefits of walking are just as helpful now as they were 100 years ago. If you regularly take part in the most popular physical activity in America, or if you need a good reason or two to start, here are seven surprising benefits that you can gain just by taking a walk.

Dementia Prevention

Dementia is a chronic disorder of the brain and mental processes that can cause memory problems, personality shifts, impaired reasoning and more. One in 14 people over the age of 65 suffer dementia, and one in six people over 80 have it. While exercise has long been associated with supporting brain function, recent studies show that walking can protect older brains from dementia by discouraging tissue shrinkage and preserving memory. For those with a family history of dementia, but have never been motivated to walk for exercise before, pedometers might make a difference. While the causes aren’t fully understood, researchers have found that simply wearing a pedometer increases the amount of walking that users engage in each day by at least 2,000 steps.

Increased Energy

Believe it or not, expending energy through walking will actually increase your energy overall. Especially when you walk at a quick pace, your circulation will increase, and you’ll get a burst of fresh oxygen coursing through your cells, lungs and blood stream. You’ll also relax tense muscles—all of which will make you feel more alert and refreshed. So take a walk when you feel a slump in your energy and attention, even if it’s just for 15 minutes on your lunch break.

Improved Mood

Exercise is a known mood improver. Consistent, moderately intense exercise, like up-tempo walking, can be just as effective in warding off mild to moderate depression and anxiety as antidepressants are. A brisk walk around your neighborhood releases endorphins—feel-good chemicals that ease tension and anxiety. If you’re feeling blue, or if you’ve struggled with depression or anxiety issues before, try a fast-paced walk each day to help keep your mood even.

Lowered Stroke Risk

High blood pressure and high cholesterol both increase your chances for stroke. What can help reduce both of those? Walking. Just one half-hour walk, five days a week at a brisk pace, can lower your risk of stroke by as much as 40 percent, according to South Carolina University researchers.

Support in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women who regularly walk after a breast cancer diagnosis have a survival rate that is 45 percent higher than women who are inactive. There is also evidence that suggests that walking for the year before a diagnosis increases survival rates as well. If you’re a woman with a family history of breast cancer, walking may prove to be a wise preventative strategy.

Lowered Risk of Heart Disease

More people die of heart disease in the United States than from any other cause, and research suggests that physical activity may lower the risks of developing it. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, moderate to brisk walking is just as effective as high-intensity running in reducing risks for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Even just quickly walking for 30 minutes a day is enough to transform your heart health and decrease your risk for serious disease.

Reduced Stress

Sadly, stress is one of the hallmarks of contemporary life that doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon. If you’re like most Americans, your schedule, responsibilities, job (or lack thereof), bills, kids, health, customer service woes, lack of sleep and more can all combine to make many days full of a chronic stress that can wear and tear at your health and well-being. If you experience more stress than you’d like to on a regular basis, it’s time to lace up your sneakers and take a walk. Walking does a lot to combat stress. It boosts endorphins, which play a role in combating stress hormones, and it can also put your mind into a meditative state.

Walking is one of the cheapest, easiest and most accessible forms of exercise you can practice, and because it isn’t too hard on your body, you can also do it your whole life. To motivate yourself for walking use pedometer. From cutting your risk for dementia and stroke to reducing stress and improving your mood, it will also make your whole life a whole lot better.

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