The benefits of walking are many and can be enjoyed by almost everyone from youngsters to seniors, but the best part is that walking is one of the easiest exercises you can do.
Of course the most opportune time to take a walk is when you can naturally absorb some vitamin D into your body as those rays of sunshine splash their warmth upon your cheeks.
Ah yes, the sunshine and the fresh air can be a big motivator but what if the sun isn’t shining?
Well don’t be disheartened, just dress appropriately and put on your walking gear because walking is also a great way to strengthen your heart, muscles, bones and so much more. Darn good combo if you ask me.
Even a casual stroll is better than sitting around or being a couch potato but if you can speed up the pace when taking your walk you really start feeling the benefits.
As you speed up your heart accelerates pumping more oxygen through your body making you feel stronger and more alive. What a simple and fun way to strengthen your heart muscles and reduce the risk of a heart attack.
It is no surprise that regular exercise prevents bone loss and helps maintain healthy bones. Recent studies have shown that the risk of developing osteoporosis is lower for people who are regularly active no matter what physical activity you enjoy doing.
Studies have shown that a 30 minute brisk walk daily dramatically can lower a person’s blood pressure. But what if your schedule doesn’t allow for a 30 minute vigorous walk? Then try to do 10 minutes at three different times during the day, anywhere you can fit it in, it all works out in the end.
Well, it is certainly easy on the pocket book. There is no special equipment needed with the exception of a comfortable pair of shoes and socks and most of us already have something we can wear.
It is also easier on the body then jogging, in fact walking only exerts one fifth of the force that jogging places on your bones and joints.
Though some people prefer jogging this type of exercise is not for everyone. A vigorous walk still provides heaps of benefits while placing minimal stress on the body and the best part is you choose your own pace.
Feel more connected with family members, friends and neighbors by sharing stories and conversation while you are getting in shape. Walking with others not only creates a bond with community and family but also makes this exercise safer if there are more of you in a group.
The social benefits of walking with others can also reduce isolation and loneliness and it can be a good way to meet new people and improve social skills, gain confidence and enhance self-esteem.
If you want a little “me time” you don’t have to buddy up when working out, you can use your walk to clear your head, make plans, organize your thoughts or simply chill out and enjoy the silence. It can be a good way to take a break from work by going outside for a breath of fresh air and go around the block to get away from it all.
Any physical activity helps reduce stress levels and can put us in a better mood, for many people it is a great way to avoid bouts of depression.
How is this accomplished?
When we engaged in exercise our bodies naturally make and release certain chemicals into our system. These natural substances are referred to as the body’s feel good chemicals.
Known to relieve common pain, helps control feelings of stress and frustration and can create a sense of well being
Helps the body cope with stress
Produces a feeling of well being and contributes to happiness
May bring about feelings of pleasure or desire
In most cases people who are physically active recover from mild depression more quickly than those less active for the above reasons.
We all know when the amount of calories we consume are more than the amount of calories we burn we slowly begin to put on extra weight which can eventually lead to obesity.
Walking is a great way to burn calories. After enjoying a brisk 30 minute walk a person who weighs approximately 150 pounds could burn off about 220 calories and a person who weighs 200 pounds could burn off about 285 calories.
The more you weigh the more calories you actually burn during exercising because a heavier body expends more energy.
Helps prevent Stroke and Type 2 diabetes
Slows down the aging process
Increases muscle strength and flexibility
Improves respiratory function
Improves concentration and memory
Strengthens the immune system
Increases energy levels
It is hard to believe that the benefits of walking are so plentiful considering that this is probably the easiest exercise a person can do, but most of all it is fun.
Check out this "Simple Walking Program" to get you started. It really is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Wishing you health and happiness