Walking is Great Exercise for Health

Walking Improves Health

The MayoClinic says that walking is low-impact and has many health benefits.[2] Some of which are ...

  • Lowers bad LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol
  • Increases good HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

To reap these benefit, you have to do walking regularly and consistently.

It can also help manage weight and increase mood. Although one study found that yoga boosts mood more than walking.

To help you remember what is good cholesterol and which is bad cholesterol, just remember you want low-density lipoprotein numbers to be low. And you want high-density lipoprotein numbers to be high.

The book The Homocysteine Revolution states ...

"Exercise programs have been found to increase levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) in blood, contributing to a favorable decrease in the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL." [page 170]

Exercise

Dr. Mike Evans has YouTube video that asks the question "What's the Single Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health?"

You guess it... It is exercise, consisting of mostly walking. And all it takes is 30 minutes a day (maybe an hour).

Walking One of the Best Exercises

Dr. Andrew Weil have said that walking is one of the best forms of exercise and even has a footwear line.[1]

The benefit of walking is that it has less impact than running, and therefore less chances of injury. Anybody who is mobile can walk. But not everyone can run.

Walking doesn't have gym fees, and does not require any equipment. You just need a good pair of shoes.

Walking as good as Running

The book "Your Health: What Works, What Doesn't" says walking is as effective as running:

"Mile for mile, walking burns almost as many calories as running does, provided you walk briskly." [page 67]

This is true if you walk the same number miles as you run. It just means that if you walk, you have to do it longer in order to cover the same distance. Some study shows that duration of exercise is just as important as intensity.

Walking Reduces Stress

University of Buffalo study found that students walking to school could reduce stress.[3]

WebMd.com has article that says that women who walks (or are otherwise physically active) can have lower stress during their transition in menopause.[4] This is from a study consisting of 380 women over the span of 8 years. Although physical symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes were no different.

Walking also reduces your risk of getting Depression and decreases Depression symptoms.[reference from MayoClinic]

Aerobic Exercise Help Prevents Alzheimers

We know that aerobic exercise is good for the heart and the brain. In fact, aerobic exercise can help prevent Alzheimer's. Walking is aerobic exercise as long as one walks briskly. The take-away points are to walk briskly and to doing walking consistently and regularly.

A study in Hawaii involving 2000+ elderly men showed that regular walking is associated with decreased risk of dementia. The group who walked less than 0.25 mile per day had a 1.8-fold increase in risk of dementia than the group who walked more than 2 miles a day. [reference]

Part of the six-week UltraMind Solution, the prescription for the exercise portion is to "walk vigorously for thirty minutes every day." [from page 315 of The UltraMind Solutiion]

Exercise in general ...

  • help prevents insulin resistance
  • it increases neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.
  • reduces inflammation
  • increases neuroplasticity
  • increases neurogenesis
  • increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)

Aerobic exercise gets the lungs to breathe more deeply and the heart pumping. This improves circulation and improves blood flow to all parts of the body. All cells needs good circulation to get its oxygen and to eliminate waste.

With aerobic exercise your body releases endrophins which are sometimes called feel-good hormones because they give you a sense of well-being and are a natural pain killer. Therefore, it can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Aerobic exercise enhances the immune system so you can ward off the common cold or flu. It improves blood pressure and helps control sugar levels in your blood. It raises HDL (the good cholesterol) and decreases LDL (the bad cholesterol). It helps strengthens the heart and over time build endurance.

There have even been some studies that suggests that exercise (both aerobic and resistance training) helps decrease chronic inflammation as indicated by C-reactive protein markers.

Other Thoughts on Walking

Leo Babuta shares his 38 life lessons on his 38th birthday. Lesson 20 is ...

"A good walk cures most problems. Want to lose weight and get fit? Walk. Want to enjoy life but spend less? Walk. Want to cure stress and clear your head? Walk. Want to meditate and live in the moment? Walk. Having trouble with a life or work problem? Walk, and your head gets clear."

Besides getting you fit, walking can clear your thoughts.

Find a Walking Path

If you want to start walking and need a good walking path, the American Heart Association has a website called startwalkingnow.org where you can search for walking paths in your neighborhood and you can filter by the type of path. These walking paths are inputted by walkers across the country. If you have a favorite walking path, you can even put one in. And rate paths that you have walked.

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