Lack of time is the most common excuse people find when they are not exercising. However, they only need 10 minutes and a little willpower to be healthier and enjoy the benefits of walking as the Arthritis Foundation points out. Here are ten benefits of walking that prove it is our best ally for overall good health.
Walking is one of the least restrictive sports that can exist, as it can be exercised in summer and winter, anywhere and at any time of the day. Its advantages are numerous.
1. It promotes heart health
Walking has several benefits for the heart: it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease. According to a study published in the journal Current Opinion in Cardiology, walking has short-term benefits, such as improved fitness, blood pressure and lipid profiles. Long-term benefits include reduced risk of coronary artery disease, coronary events and mortality.
2. It improves brain function
Walking for exercise can become more important as we get older and our risk of dementia and other brain disorders increases. It can even help reverse the effects of aging. A study published in Annals of Neurology found that the 69 participants aged 55 to 88 who met the American Heart Association’s exercise guidelines had a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
3. It stimulates the mood
Walking helps improve mood and reduce stress. And it’s even better if it’s done in nature. Walking outdoors, close to the greenery, helps reduce feelings of frustration and may even help you put your brain into a state of meditation, according to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Walking also helps release endorphins that act as an analgesic to alleviate body pains.
4. It strengthens the bones
Walking can help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the risk of hip fracture was reduced by 41% in women who walked at least 4 hours per week.
5. It improves blood circulation
Regular physical activity such as walking is great for your heart. It improves your blood circulation, helps lower blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke, according to a study published in the scientific journal Stroke.
6. It improves the health of the lungs
Walking can have a significant impact on lung health. According to the Arthritis Foundation, walking improves breathing. As you walk, your breathing rate increases, leading to an acceleration of the flow of oxygen in the blood, helping to eliminate waste, improve your energy level and your ability to heal.