Statistics and several studies already proved that walking on daily bases has numerous benefits for both your physical and mental health. Doesn’t matter if you are a sedentary person and it’s long time that you do not exercise, you can easily restart walking just getting off the couch, starting to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Start slowly and increase the duration and effort according to your physical condition, age and weight.
Main benefits of walking:
#1 – Helps to lose weight
Personal trainers agree that adding 30 min of walk to your daily routine, you could burn up to 150 calories. The number of calories depends on different factors such as: your weight, terrain type, your gender, your age and your training level. Also, after a stress relieving walk, you will feel more relaxed and this will stop you from stress-eating.
#2 – Lowers cholesterol and triglycerides
Cholesterol and triglycerides are two different types of fat in your blood. Cholesterol in particular is very important for several body functions such as: steroid hormones and Vitamin D production, maintaining the fluidity and integrity of cell membranes, etc.
However, when the cholesterol is too much, it creates plaques in the arteries which slow down the normal blood flow. When cholesterol totally block the blood in the arteries, you may have a heart attack or a stroke.
The question how to lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good one (HDL) can be answered with two words: physical activity.
More HDL (high-density lipoprotein) in the blood means a greater amount of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) absorbed and carried to the liver to be excreted. High levels of HDL cholesterol result in lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
#3 – Improves the digestion
Among benefits of walking, this is the most unknown. The type of movements you do when walking increases the blood supply to the stomach as well as intestine. A good digestion also helps to solve the constipation problem.
#4 – Makes you more productive
A study found that people who walked for half hour over the launch, were more productive in the afternoon than those who consumed their food sitting in the office. In addition, the walk mood- boosting effects doesn’t die down after a few hours but continues to be high in the evening hours when you come back from work and are with your family so, even your private life will benefit from your body and metal status.
#5 – Tones your muscles.
Muscle toning is the benefit of walking most taken into consideration by women. Walking seems like a little invigorating physical activity when compared to others like working out in the gym but it’s not entirely true. Walking tones the quadriceps (the largest muscles of our legs), the calves and, walking uphill, it is also possible to firm up the buttocks.
Don’t expect this to happen overnight though as it doesn’t work that way. Like everything related to physical change, firming also requires time and constancy.
#6 – Boosts your immune system
Karen Hallisey at UCLA University said that physical activity can play an important role in strengthening the immune system and this is crucial for fighting off illness.
Regularly going for a walk can improve your immune system in different ways: it helps immune cells to perform more effectively, increases the blood flow, reduces stress and inflammation and strength antibodies.
#7 – Improves breathing and lungs
Physical activities all make your body to request for more oxygen and this makes you to breath deeper and more often. Deep breathing also means extra oxygen in your blood and more carbon dioxide expelled from your lungs. Walking is safe also for people who suffer because some form of asthma because it doesn’t trigger any attack.
How to get started walking?
At first glance, the question might seem silly but it’s not. Even preparing well for a simple walk can make the difference between a pleasant experience to be repeated and an absolutely negative one that makes you stop doing this physical activity permanently.
Experts advise the following:
- Choose the right equipment: the most important choice concerns the You should look for a pair of sneakers that are comfortable and provide proper support for your feet. Also, pay attention for a sturdy sole and good arch support.
- Warm up and cool down: it is a good practice to spend 5 min to warm up before to start walking and 10 min to cool down after the activity. Warming up rises the temperature in the muscles and joints so you will not feel pain at the beginning. Cooling down after walking is as important as warming up before. When you stop exercising, your heart is still beating faster than normal, the blood pressure is high and your blood vessels are dilated. To get the most benefits from walking, it is not recommended to stop physical activity suddenly, it is better to stop gradually to allow the body to adjust.
- Set realistic goals: start to walk slowly around your building and little by little increase the distance and You can start with 15 minutes a day the first week, and then increase your time by 10 minutes each week until you reach at least 30 minutes.