- Exercise & Fitness
11 Reasons why you should walk more often
Walking is the low impact exercise that is free and good for all abilities and ages. You're in control of your own speed, even on a treadmill.
In the age of technology and spending so much time sitting down, it's really important to get your heart rate up. Below are 10 reasons why you need to get off your butt and walk:
1. Protects Your Brain
Walking is beneficial for cognitive control of the brain; including memory improvement; boosting creativity; reduces the risk of dementia by up to 40%. Older people should walk more than 6 miles per week to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the year's go on.
2. Fortifies Your Heart
A regular walking routine has been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
By walking briskly for up to 30 minutes can help prevent and control high blood pressure, which can cause strokes. Thus reducing your risk by 27%.
3. Reduces Belly Fat
Okay so you won't end up with a 6 pack by walking, but what you will gain is muscle mass and tone. The more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will burn off fat.
Example: A 60 kg person will burn 75 calories just by walking at 2 mph for 30 minutes. Change that walking speed to 3 mph and and they will burn off 99 calories.
4. Will Tone up Legs, Bum and Tum
Getting out there and doing a really good walk will strengthen and shape your legs, giving more definition to your calves, hamstrings and quads, walk up a hill and challenge yourself even more.
With the right posture you can also tone your abs and trim your waste.
5. Best Natural Energizer
A vigorous walk will recharge your batteries. See below the effects of doing a brisk walk:
- Boosts circulation
- Increases oxygen supply
- Wakes up stiff joints
- Eases muscle tension
6. Helps You Think
Walking is a low impact exercise, so while your out and about or even on the treadmill at the gym you can work through your problems, think of new ideas and anything else that might be on your mind.
7. Will Increase Your Vitamin D levels
Walking in daylight will help boost the vitamin D stores in your body through the natural synthesis from exposure to sunlight.
8. Will Boost Your Immune System
Scientist's aren't sure how walking can increase your immunity to certain illnesses but below are the theories:
- Walking slows down the release of stress related hormones. Stress can increase the chance of illness.
- Rise in body temperature during and after exercise prevents bacteria from growing. The rise in body temperature will fight infection more readily.
- Walking causes a change in antibodies and white blood cells, helping them to circulate more rapidly. Making it easier to detect illness early.
- Walking can clear your lungs and airways of bacteria. Reducing your chance of a cold or flu.
Walking time spent each week
How many minutes walking do you do each week?
9. Will Help You Tune Out the Outside World
As westerners the concept of meditation is a hard one to master. Sitting still for 15 minutes can be difficult. Go for a walk and tune out everything around you. You'll feel great afterwards.
10. Will Lengthen Your Lifespan
Just by intensifying your walking routine you can increase the length of your life. Walk slow and your mortality risk will go up.
11. Will Boost Your Mood
Regular moderate intensity exercise like walking briskly will boost your mood. Just as effective as antidepressants, for mild to moderate depression. Walking will release those feel good endorphin's into the bloodstream, reducing anxiety and stress.
So remember walk briskly and regularly!
© 2015 Helen Bolam