THE BENEFITS OF WALKING
Do you know that you can reduce heart risks and stroke for just taking a stroll around every day? Now you know! There are loads of benefits you can get from walking for 45 minutes every day.
Walking is a form of exercise that has been over ages underrated because it looks too simple, easy and too common to place on top of the list. People would rather lift dumbbells and strike yoga poses because they feel the more the strain, the bigger the benefits.
Of all forms of exercise, walking is the easiest and most inexpensive form of exercise as it requires no form of equipment to engage in it. Apart from physical fitness, walking offers a lot of health benefits; from weight reduction to reducing the risks of chronic diseases.
Walking can be done by both young and old. It costs nothing to do it but it pays a lot to whoever engages in it. Walking every morning helps to wake up our organs that have rested the night before.
It helps to start the day full of energy, it also improves the body shape and strengthens the immune system. Just walking slowly will not really have an effect, it pays more to walk briskly to enhance the effect of this exercise.
Physical and Health Benefits of Walking
- Burns calories; Taking a walk every day can help you burn calories. The number of calories you burn depends on a lot of factors like the intensity of the walk, how long you walked, your weight and other factors. It would be more effective to walk uphill and down briskly to burn calories than walking on an under desk treadmill at a slow pace. Walking is an effective exercise when it comes to weight loss.
- Reduces heart risks; Walking helps to lower bad cholesterol and increases the good one (HDL), lowers your heart pressure and reduces your weight. Studies have proven that people with extra weight stand the risk of cardiovascular events. Since walking helps in weight reduction, it helps to reduce risks of cardiovascular events.
- Reduces costs; Walking is unarguably the most inexpensive exercise. It requires no special equipment to perform. Expensive should not be an excuse for you not exercising because walking is totally free and requires no cost at all. Start hiking!
- Mental health; Taking a walk helps you to boost your mental health. For example, walking lightens the mood and helps the brain to rest and work more effectively. It also helps to reduce depression.
- Counters insomnia; various researches have shown that people who walk more sleep faster, longer and deeper than someone who does less moving around. Having a good sleep can help the body system to rest and function more effectively.
- Increases muscle strength and endurance; Taking a walk helps to strengthen the muscle in the body as well as stretching the endurance of the system.
- Increases immune ability; Studies have shown that people who walk more have stronger immune systems than the ones who walk less. Taking a walk every day can perform wonders on a person’s immune system. The immune system is that system in your body that helps to fight diseases and infections.
- Reduces breast cancer risk; Research has shown that women who walk to exercise cut the risks of getting cancer by 14 percent.
- Longevity; walking about 45 minutes every day may be a ticket to longer life for you as it helps you reduce risk of life-threatening diseases, promotes wellness, boosts mental health and so on. In short, walking promotes your overall health which is a key to longer life.
- Reduces stress; walking is a cardiovascular exercise so it boosts the endorphins that can reduce stress hormones and alleviate depression. Walking also helps to reduce fatigue.
Walking 45 Minutes Daily
The longer the better. Although walking lesser than 45 minutes will also benefit you but walking for 45 minutes daily has a more effective impact on your overall health. As said earlier, the impact this exercise has on the body will defer from one person to the other because of some factors. These factors include;
- The terrain; Do you walk uphill or on flat surfaces? Someone who walks uphill and down is likely to have a more effective weight loss that the person who walks on a flat surface.
- The intensity; how fast do you walk up that hill or on the flat surface? The speed of your walking exercise is one factor that also determines how much impact you’d experience too.
- The length of time; for how long do you take that hike? The longer the walk, the better the result.
A combination of the maximum of the above three premises will go a long way in your weight losing goals. If you have been walking and have not noticed much change in you, continue walking but this time try changing your terrain. Walk uphill, with more intensity and for a maximum of 45 minutes daily.
Exhausting? Yes, you are bound to be exhausted from hiking uphill and down for 45 minutes daily but this will help you to be more effective in achieving your weight loss goals and also benefit you more health-wise.
No hills around? Try your stairs. Don’t use “no hills around” as an excuse, get on your stairs and go up and down for 45 minutes, it will also work.
Why walk everyday?
Why wake up everyday and put on your walking shoes? If you really want to enjoy the benefits of walking then you need to do it everyday. Consistency is key to achieving more. If you want more result, you have to do walk everyday.
If you find it difficult to do this everyday, find a partner. This would even be more fun because you can challenge each other to more minutes’ walk. You will not only achieve your slimming down goals, you also get to bond.
Why should you take that walk in the morning?
Taking your 45 minutes walk every morning helps you start your day with a settled, focused mind, more active, stronger and energized system to take off and start the day.
After your hike, you go home sweaty, take a shower and feel refreshed. This will even improve your relationship with people around. A calm mind makes more accurate decisions.
Walking helps you to be calm so if you do it in the morning, you get to start your day smarter. Another added advantage of walking. Other reasons why you should do any exercise in the morning are;
- When you exercise in the morning, it gives your body a kind of fatigue that allows you sleep longer and deeper at night.
- Exercising in the morning allows you to beat the sun. Exercising where there is heat or when the weather is hot drains energy faster, causes fatigue and also dehydration.
- You get more energized when you exercise in the morning before heat sets in. It will improve your stamina and muscular strength.
- For someone who gets easily distracted, you can exercise in the morning to avoid distraction just in case you want to do a little thinking to make some decisions.
- Early work outs tally with weight loss.
- Exercising in the morning has been discovered to lower blood pressure.
- Early morning workout will help increase your self-discipline.
Walking and weight loss
Ever wondered why your therapist told you to take a few minutes walk every day to reduce your weight? Here is why; walking help you to burn excess fats in the body. Too much of calories in the body cause overweight.
3500 calories equals 1 pound of fat in the body which means that if you take in too many calories, you automatically get fatter and if not curbed you become pumped and before you know it become obese.
This takes us to how much calories we can burn each day from our walking exercise.
If a person who weighs 200 pounds walk briskly, say 3 miles per hour, he burns 4 calories for every minute. Which means if he takes a daily walk of 45 minutes, he will burn 180 calories per day. This also means that if he relies solely on walking to burn fats, he loses a pound of fat in 20 days.
For a person who is obese and cannot jog or do any other strenuous exercises, just walking is a good start for him. To speed up the weight loss process, he can eat less calorie contained foods.
What therapists say about walking as an exercise?
Therapists have come to a consensus that walking improves the general well-being of whoever engages in it. Jeff Miller, PhD after his research on how walking and its effect concluded that walking will certainly increase the feeling of pleasant energy whether the subject likes it or not.
He further explained that also walking energizes a person as the feeling of engagement increases. Overall, he concluded that walking promotes a happier and healthier living.
A therapy called “the walk and talk therapy” is now a common therapy amongst psychologists. General thoughts about this therapy are that it allows for a more open, conducive and comfortable discussion with patients.
This only proves the previous assertion that walking calms you when you do it. Walking with your therapist gives a sense of friendship such that it feels like you are taking a walk with your old friend and talking about life issues. It is more soothing than sitting at a table, fidgeting and avoiding eye contact.
All in all, therapists think that walking helps promote calmness and allows you room to do some correct thinking and make some right decisions.
Walking does not have to be done with equipment, you can do it by taking your normal brisk walk around or climb your stairs up and down or you could use a treadmill. Whether at home or at a gym, you can use your treadmill as a workout equipment.
Incline walking simply means walking on a slope. So, whether you walk uphill or up the stairs or use a treadmill inclined function, you are doing the same thing; walking on a slope.
Walking on a slope has more advantages than walking on a flat surface. Incline walking strengthens your calves, backside and gives you stronger thighs. Before we note the reasons why you should do more incline walking it’s important to note that foot and ankle injuries can occur more commonly. That’s why it’s important to wear sturdy shoes and maybe invest in some insoles for more comfort and support. If you can’t find any in your local store, they are available online with companies like Protalus. Reasons why you should do more of incline walking are;
- Cardiovascular fitness; incline walking helps to condition your lungs and your heart. Walking is an aerobic exercise, the point of aerobic exercises is to strengthen the heart and help it to circulate blood throughout the body. It also helps to lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
- Burn more fat; incline walking helps you burn more calories than walking on a flat surface. Walking on a slope engages the body more as it equals walking on a flat surface for 45 minutes. This means that 90 minutes of brisk flat surface walk equal 45 minutes incline walking.
- More muscle strength; Slow-twitch muscles are triggered during an incline walking exercise. These fibers help you tone your muscles and build lean calf muscles
- eases back pain; instead of lying still when you have lower back pain, try walking on a slope instead. Walking on a flat surface will do too but walking on a slope will allow the blood to circulate more around the body which will ease back pain faster.
Why Walking Is the Best Exercise for You
- Cost-friendly; the biggest thing you’d buy will be walking shoes which is not necessary if you already have one.
- No specific venue; There is no specific venue to take a walk. You can do your walk anywhere.
- Side effects; there are hardly any side effects involved in walking. It has little or no negative impact on the body and can be engaged in by anyone.
- Antidepressant; Imagine taking a walk with your friends, it will be fun and exciting. There will be a lot of challenging each other, nice conversations and plenty of activities. Depression will hardly stay in a place like this.
- Stay active; walking causes you to be more active and involved in activities around you. You become wired when you walk and engage more in various activities.
Some tips to get started with your walk
- It’s advisable to not eat before a workout but if you must eat, make sure to eat like 3-4 hours before a workout to prevent jabs in the side of your stomach.
- Make sure you have a good night’s rest. A good night’s rest will aid you to wake up early rested and ready to go.
- To make work out interesting and appealing, get a partner. This will help you to get up early even if you don’t want to.
- Don’t forget to set your alarm and when you do, put it out of reach. Putting it close to you might be a terrible idea as you may put it off and go back to sleep.
- Your body gets dehydrated during exercises so drink water to boost your hydration. Drink up to 2 to 3 liters of water daily.
- Get your work out gear ready, lay them where you can see them so you don’t have to waste time looking for what to wear.
All in all, consistency is key, never stop exercising. Don’t be too lazy to get up for your morning exercise! Anytime you feel you should skip your daily exercise remember the benefits you are about to lose.
If you can’t do it alone, talk your friend into joining you. Eat good and healthy food to replace your energy. Drink plenty of water, but not more than 4 liters a day. Go to bed early and don’t forget to set your alarm!