Walking is one of the best ways of exercising among people of all ages. It doesn’t cause any injuries, it’s free and it can be performed almost anywhere and anytime – when you are travelling, shopping or you are on holidays.
Experts say that it’s really important to include at least 10,000 steps of walking, running or jogging in our everyday lives. A 40 minute walk gives us half of these steps and everyday activities can add up the rest. Let’s take a closer look at why walking is so beneficial to our health:
- Regular walking is known to reduce danger of heart disease and stroke. It keeps the levels of LDL cholesterol low and the levels of HDL cholesterol high. According to the Stroke Association walking briskly for 30 min. per day can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 27%.
- Developing a walking habit can help you overcome health problems such as type 2 diabetes, asthma and some kind of cancer. According to the charitable organization “Walking for Health” regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes by at least 60% and the risk of developing colon cancer by 20%.
- Walking can help reduce your weight because it burns plenty of calories. It’s also a great way to increase your metabolism because the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
- Walking can help you prevent the danger of dementia. Being active has a protective effect on the brain and regular exercise such as walking can reduce the risk of Alzheimer by at least 40%. According to Age UK older people who walk six or more miles per week can preserve their memory for more years.
- Walking is a great way to strengthen the muscles of your legs including calves, quads and hamstrings. The muscle strengthening depends on the difficulty level of your walking and your speed. The faster you walk and the more you include hills in your training program the more muscle you build. In addition to this, if you pay attention to your posture as you are walking, you can also strengthen your abs, back and upper body.
- Last but not least, walking at a fast pace can boost your energy levels. Walking increases the circulation and oxygen levels in your body. In this way it makes you feel more alive and energized.