Walking is a gentle low impact exercise that can maintain both the physical shape and health. Walking is a form of physical activity available to all. It is safe, simple and does not require practice, and the health benefits are numerous.
For the people who walk there are less chances to have cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other deadly diseases. They live longer and get more benefits for the mental and spiritual health as a result of this practice.
Benefits of taking a walk
1. Walking prevents type 2 diabetes. Experts have shown that a person who can walk for 150 minutes per week loses about 7% of body weight and can reduce up to 58% the risk of triggering diabetes.
2. Walking strengthens your heart, for men. A study has found that death rates among retired men who walked less than 1.5 km per day was two times higher than those who walk at least 3 miles a day.
3. Walking strengthens your heart, if you’re a woman. Researchers say that women who walk for three hours or more per week have a lower risk of developing heart attack or other coronary events with up to 35% compared with women who did not walk.
4. Walking is good for the brain’s health. Experts have found that women who walk at least 1.5 hours per week had improved cognitive function and cognitive decline was smaller than in those who walked less than 40 minutes per week.
5. Walking is healthy for bones. Studies have shown that women in menopause who walk about 1.5 km each day had higher bone density in the entire body. Walking slows the bone loss in the legs.
6. Walking helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Those who walk 30 minutes between 3-5 times per week for 12 weeks, will show up to 47% less symptoms of depression.
7. Walking reduces the risk of developing breast and colon cancer. Women who walk between 1.15 and 2 ½ hours a week have a up to 18% lower risk to have breast cancer compared with inactive women.
Exercise can prevent colon cancer. In addition, even if a person develops colon cancer, the benefits of exercise appear to continue both by increasing quality of life and reducing mortality.
8. Walking improves fitness levels. It’s enough for one person to walk just 30 minutes, three times per week to improve their cardiovascular health.
9. Even short walks are effective. A study showed that sedentary women who take short walks (3-10 minutes per day) have important results on improving their physical condition. The amount of fat in the body decreases when walking 30 minutes a day.
10. Walking improves the physical function. Studies have shown that walking improves both physical fitness, physical function and prevents physical disabilities in older people.
11. Walking maintains your sex life. Sex life and physical activity are closely related. Experts have confirmed that women aged 45-55 years who exercised (including walking) found an increase in libido, which has added increased sexual satisfaction.
12. Walking helps diminish pain caused by fibromyalgia. A small study found that in women aged 32-70 years, who went 60 minutes on foot, made light exercise and stretched three times a week for 18 weeks, significantly improved the walking and mental capacity and were less tired and depressed.
Training prevents injuries
There are little probabilities for walking to determine damage or injury like other types of exercise. However, you should warm up before to prevent any type of injury, such as muscle pain or wound appearance.
• Alert walking – When you want to increase speed, wear comfortable shoes. Select shoes with proper soles, firm heel and thick soles, which are designed to absorb the shock during walking. Put on comfortable clothes. Wear bright colors, if you go in the dark, so that drivers can see you.
• Walking is a great exercise because it is simple, but it is important to have good posture and make appropriate movements.
• Warming-up – Walk slowly for about five minutes to warm up the muscles. Increase the pace gradually.
• Stretching – After you warm the muscles, stretch them before walking: calf muscles.
• Rest after each set of walking – To reduce stress on the heart and muscles, end each session by walking slowly for about five minutes.