Walking is a god give gift to humans. Our bodies have evolved to undertake walking. We are all aware of the many pronged benefits of walking even though our knowledge would be mostly hearsay. Let us now examine how walking is beneficial for human health and wellness and what may be the specific benefits of making a habit of walking.
Distance and benefits
Walking on an average at least 5.5 miles per week at a slow pace of 2 miles per hour is enough to shower us with wellness and health. Such a walk lowers our risk of heart attacks, strokes and heart failure. Those who walk faster and further can reap even more benefits.
Walking and women
Women who walked for at least 30 minutes a day can cut their risk of a stroke by 20 – 40%. Just a little effort can do wonders to help our blood move through the body the way it should. Whatever sort of walk you undertake is good, but if you push yourself a bit and get your heart rate up, then it strengthens the heart and lowers the blood pressure.
Goal for health
It is said that walking 10,000 steps at a time means you have covered around 5 miles. This is a good goal for keeping you in fine health. Slowly you can work your way up. Better use a pedometer to count your steps, and step it up by at least 500 steps each week.
Brisk walking is taken to be cardio exercise. The ideal count is 150 minutes of exercise that raises your heart rate every week. Walking definitely fits this target. Walking does not require any special equipment except a pair of good walking shoes. To get a cardio credit, you should do more than a stroll and pick up pace.
Walking vs. running
For many years experts believed that pushing yourself hard and your heart r ate was the best way to strengthen the heart. This is easily done with running, but it turns out that brisk walking is just is just as good when it comes to bringing down our risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All these help in keeping your heart healthy.
You should do a minimum of 300 minutes of brisk walking if you want to lose weight. Though it may sound like lot, it breaks down to less than 45 minutes of brisk walking each day.
If your schedule does not permit it then you can burn just as many calories with 20 minutes of high intensity exercise, 20 minutes of energetic running, followed by 1 minute of recovery walking.
This will improve the metabolism and help burn more fat.
Lowers risk of cancer
Walking lowers the risk of breast cancer in women because it lowers the estrogens levels in the blood stream and maintains optimal levels. Women and men who walk briskly or do other physical activities regularly are less likely to get colon cancer. Walking 30 minutes every day can keep cancer at bay.
Walking is really good for people with type 2 diabetes. An exercise like walking helps the hormone insulin get the sugar out of your bloodstream and into the cells where it is used to make energy. Walking thus lowers the risk of complication in diabetes, like nerve damage and kidney disease.
Walking is also good physical therapy, for improving arthritis and back pain condition. Walking is good for our bones since it is a weight bearing exercise.