15 Benefits of Walking: How Walking Can Change Your Life
8 0r 80, some habits die hard! One such habit that we must develop in our lifetime is the habit of walking. Walking is preferred to running by many as it goes easy on our heart and joints. Walking is the one-stop solution for all our health problems, be it issues related to the brain, heart or the lungs. It is also beneficial for critical blood parameter levels like blood sugar level, blood pressure level or cholesterol level. Walking regulates the flow of blood in our body and also influences the secretion of hormones. It also acts a mood uplifter as being the simplest physical activity it can help prevent depression. The benefits of walking are as follows:
Maintains Heart Health
Walking plays a dynamic role in keeping the heart healthy. By walking the physical activity of the body increases and hence promotes the blood flow to the blood vessels. If a constant flow of blood is maintained to and from the heart, the heart stays healthy as it does not have to pump vigorously. Moreover, walking also reduces cholesterol which forms plaque-like structures in the blood vessels and provides an obstruction to blood flow which is the primary cause of cardiovascular diseases. In a study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society experts were of the view that people who walk at least four hours a week were less prone to cardiovascular and heart diseases.
Maintains Body Weight
The most basic and simple exercise is walking. When a person gains extra weight he becomes prone to several kinds of diseases including cardiovascular diseases, so for a health conscious person, there is a sense of desperation to trim those extra layers of fats. The fastest and easiest way to get salvation from this state is to start one hour of walking regularly. Walking further regulates the flow of blood and also hormone secretion which also plays an important role in maintaining body weight.
Walking Regulates Blood Pressure Levels
How Walking Can Change Your Life? Walking also helps maintain blood pressure. In a research recently conducted in Japan, people made to walk for ten thousand steps daily over a twelve week period were seen to lower their blood pressure levels significantly and also develop greater stamina. Even if someone is not able to walk ten thousand steps, he or she should at least walk for sixty minutes a day in order to lower his blood-pressure level.
Walking Helps to Prevent Cancer
Walking helps in reducing body weight and indirectly helps in prevention of cancer. Generally, a sedentary lifestyle is responsible for cancer which can be avoided by walking daily. A study has even proven that the side-effects of chemotherapy can be reduced greatly by walking.
Increases Blood Circulation
Walking regularly can make an individual sharper. Walking enables greater supply of blood to the brain which is rich in oxygen and glucose as it enhances blood circulation. Moreover, it lowers cholesterol levels by increased activity of the body, thus preventing LDL cholesterol from clogging the blood flow within blood vessels and reducing chances of stroke.
Walking Prevents Diabetes
The most common and suggested medicine for diabetic patients is to develop a habit of walking. Walking can also provide a permanent solution to type 2 diabetes if done religiously. When an individual visits a doctor or physician for consultation regarding diabetes he or she is destined to be told to develop a regular habit of walking. A recently conducted research had shown that individuals who had been walking a certain distance were better able to control their blood sugars compared to people who had been jogging the same distance. One possibility why it happens may be due to the fact, that when we walk a long distance the body may fuel up the storage of fatty acids more than when we jog the same distance.
Makes Bones Stronger
As we grow old our bones get weaker due to loss of calcium. To fill the deficit of calcium we can take a diet which can provide us with the same but in order to maintain the mobility in joints developing a habit to walk is a must. Moreover, walking can prevent other age-related problems like arthritis which can become a primary reason for further inactiveness of an individual. Walking can also prevent osteoporosis and unwanted fractures. Providing sudden shock to our bones is very beneficial to their strengthening and their tangibility. We can increase their endurance level by walking in different ways-sometimes we can walk straight, sometimes sideways, sometimes walking uphill or sometimes downhill. We should never exert unwanted pressure on our bones but presenting them with periodic challenges can definitely make them hardy and stronger.
Walking Strengthens Muscle
Like bones, muscles also get weaker with age. A person also suffers from significant muscle loss as he grows older. Walking lubricates muscles and prevents muscle loss. Walking can also prevent serious conditions caused due to rheumatics and helps in maintaining the overall muscle mass and structure. In order to initiate muscular development though walking is not enough, incorporating steps or hills into your walking routine may provide a temporary overloading stimulus that can cause some minor muscle development. Though it is to be kept in mind following this activity will not serve our purpose of muscle toning in the long run as the muscles will adapt to this kind of stress in the short-term.
Walking Aids in Digestion
Gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating and constipation are often caused by improper digestion. Although maintaining a proper diet is the most important factor for maintaining digestion, walking is also equally important to keep the mechanism effective. Walking for sometime after finishing your meal is also a very healthy habit. A study in 2008 had shown that walking ensures the movement of food through the stomach at a faster rate. Moreover walking after a meal decreases the level of glucose in the bloodstream which ensures the content of sugar in the blood remains low.
Boosts Immune System
Our immune system is the sole protector of our body against the germs in the open and the infections caused by them. They are the protective shield that basically keeps us alive. The immune cells namely the B-cells and the T-cells are bolstered by walking thirty minutes daily. It also helps release WBC s faster which enhances healing. Taking a moderate walk for thirty to forty-five minutes daily can significantly boost the number of immune system cells present in the body. The levels of the immunity agents thus remain elevated for several hours and help in protection against the external threats better.
Provides Protection Against Dementia
As the body grows older the brain also loses effectiveness. Due to loss of memory an individual develops dementia. It is said that walking regularly can help preventing memory loss and also boosts memory power. The overall neurological activity of the brain can be enhanced due to walking. Aerobic exercises like walking, running can significantly enhance cognitive functions and resistance training like weights plays a magical role in working memory.
Enhances Lung Capacity
Our lung capacity can be increased by walking or running. For people who do not have running capacity-can enhance the power of their lungs with a regularization of a sixty-minute walk. More oxygen enters through our lungs when we are moving than when we are stationary. The capacity of the lungs thus increases by more exchange of oxygen and carbon-di-oxide at a higher rate. It is the responsibility of the lungs to deliver oxygen to each cell which the simplest fundamental of our body mechanism which ensures our well-being. So increasing our lung capacity with the habit of regularized walking can help us proceed towards our direction of maintaining a sound health.
Walking Prevents Ageing
A research conducted with Harvard students had proven that individuals who had a walking habit of thirty minutes a day had a longer life-span than the sedentary lifestyle followers. Telomerase enzyme which maintains DNA integrity may be activated by walking. Walking also helps maintain other age-related parameters. People have always looked for a pill to prevent aging but unfortunately, such a pill will never be available and the only pill to accomplish the task is the pill to action which is walking.
How Walking Can Change Your Life? Walking helps reduce production of stress hormones. Moreover by walking the blood circulation in the body increases which further reduces stress levels. Due to enhancement in blood circulation, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the body cells also increases. Breathing in and out during a walk flushes out the stress. Jangled nerves can be calmed by any kind of aerobic exercises and when regularity is maintained it can enhance self-esteem and combat depression. Research has shown a twenty to thirty-minute walk can have the same effect as a mild tranquilizer.
Walking in the open with fresh air as an add-on can work as an effective remedy against depression. We can get rid of depression by walking as this is the simplest physical activity and helps get rid of the ill feeling without bothering us in any way. Endorphins or “feel-good” chemicals in the brain can receive a boost due to walking which can play a role in mood upliftment of an individual.