The Health Benefits of Walking

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

All types of gentle, low-impact exercises tone the muscles and improve the health. Walking is no exception. Although walking is often overlooked, it is one of the simplest ways to achieve a trimmer, healthier body! Walking boosts lung capacity, strengthens the heart, and tones the muscles without straining the joints. In today’s post, we are listing down the incredible health benefits of walking:

Promotes Better Circulation

Walking helps increase the heart rate; improve circulation, while lowering blood pressure. In fact, walking makes an excellent workout for patients afflicted with heart disease and arterial disorders. According to a study conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Tennessee, walking lowered the blood pressure of postmenopausal women by nearly 11 points in 24 weeks! The participants walked 30 minutes every day and their daily progress was recorded.

Both research groups confirmed that walking reduced the risk of stroke among participants by a whopping 20% to 40%! Picking up the pace also works wonders for the heart, according to Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Strengthens the Bones

Walking helps strengthen the bones by reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that afflicts older people, particularly post-menopausal women. According to a New York study, walking for 30 minutes every day reduced the risk of bone disease among post-menopausal women by up to 40%. Walking also exposes the body to sunlight, which in turn, increases vitamin D level. Vitamin D is instrumental to bone health! Of course, make sure you conduct any outdoor workout when sunlight is at its weakest, which is around 7 to 8 AM and 4 to 5PM.

Lengthens Life Span

That’s right, walking actually lengthens a person’s lifespan. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School researchers, exercising is beneficial to people age 50 to 60 years old. Older patients who walk every day are 35% less likely to die over the next 8 years compared to their non-walking counterparts. A separate study also found that daily walking reduces the risk of developing underlying health conditions by up to 45%, thus preventing death.

Promotes Weight Loss

Walking is one of the best workouts because it torches a lot of calories. Walking for 30 minutes at 2mph burns about 80 calories and speeding up your pace to 3mph will burn around 100 calories. Walking at a speed of 4mph burns about 150 calories, which is equivalent to a jam doughnut!

A University of Utah study found that women who brisk walked every day lowered their risk of obesity by 5%. Another study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that walking neutralized the effects of obesity-promoting genes by 50%. Because walking is so easy to integrate into a person’s daily routine, one can work out without thinking much about staying fit at all!

Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

A report by the American Diabetes Association noted that walking is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes. According to a study by University of Colorado researchers, walking makes a significant impact on the lives of type 2 Diabetes patients. It works by stabilizing blood sugar, which reduces health care cost and. In turn, walking motivates diabetics to stick to an active lifestyle.

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