Walk your way to fitness after thirty
Walking with a dog
Benefits of walking regularly
Walk your way to fitness after thirty
In the second decade of your life, from your 20th to your 30th birthday, you can afford to eat whatsoever you like and lead a sedentary life to your heart's content, with no significant ill effects on your health. But, once you cross your 30th birthday and continue with the same lifestyle, the ill effects begin to show on your health. In your 30s, 40s, 50s and onwards you need to eat wisely and exercise regularly to maintain your physical and mental health. And what can be a better exercise than walking ? It is refreshing and invigorating when done in the early hours of the morning or even in the cool of the evenings. Also, it is easy to fit it in your daily routine.
Walking is beneficial at any age and good for women and men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. It is easy to start and stick to. Moreover it is easy on the joints too. Walking is an anti - aging elixir of life. It acts as a mood elevator and encourages a positive outlook on life. If done in the morning it starts the day on a confident note.
Many women begin their 30s in complete control of their lives. Then come the babies and added responsibilities, and extra kilos. Women become a lot less active in their 30s. This is the time when they begin to gain weight. So, 30s is the best time to start walking, if you are not already doing it. When you are sedentary your metabolism slows down and you burn less calories. This is the time when you start putting on weight. Walking briskly and regularly accelerates your metabolism and you start building lean muscle mass and get rid of the fat so you shed off extra weight. You must walk for at least 30 minutes a day for 3 to 4 times a week.
Regular walking improves physical and mental fitness. Physically fit people are more efficient and energetic during the whole day - while juggling between career, family and home.
Walking the dog
During the 40s, most women face constant stress as they care for their family and make important decisions about their lives. Walking helps to maintain fitness and health and prevents diseases which usually threaten to set in at this time of the life.
Stress can lead to raised blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Chronic stress can weaken your immune system, making you prone to anything from common cold to cancer. Walking causes your brain to produce mood-elevating beta-endorphins, and help prevent you from becoming depressed or anxious.
Walking prevents diseases and prevents dying prematurely from all causes. Women who do moderate exercise such as walking are less likely to die from cancer than sedentary women.
We lose muscle mass as we age. Exercise can help diminish effect of aging on muscle mass.
The 50s and Menopause
Around age 50 women face menopause. Their bodies begin producing less oestrogen. Aging process begin to accelerate at 50. But, women who walk tend to be less affected by it than their sedentary sisters. If you are searching for an anti - aging elixir, exercise is it.
Menopause : Walking helps menopausal women in many ways :
- Loss of heart protective oestrogen causes cardio-vascular risk to rise. But, walking raises HDL ( good cholesterol ) and lowers LDL ( bad cholesterol ) as well as blood pressure and reduces some of the risk of cardio - vascular diseases.
- Beta - endorphins which our brain releases when we exercise can reduce to some extent the mood swings of menopause.
- Oestrogen loss can bring about insomnia, but regular exercise improves duration and quality of sleep.
Osteo - arthritis and Osteoporosis
Osteo-arthritis : Millions of people all over the world suffer from osteo-arthritis, a painful disease in which joint cartilages degenerate. Common after 50s, it tends to affect the hands, feet, knees and the hips. People who exercise moderately have less pain than those who lead a sedentary life.
Osteoporosis : Most women have osteoporosis after menopause, which means loss of calcium from the bones leading to fractures. Our bones are protected by oestrogen before menopause. After menopause bones become porous and brittle. Studies show that weight - bearing exercise such as walking can increase bone density.
Over and above all of these health concerns, walking can add quality to your life. Walking boosts self - esteem, confidence and a positive outlook towards life.
Walking with a companion - best exercise
© 2008 Dr Kulsum Mehmood