The Benefits of Walking
Nothing beats walking
Walking is not just one of the earliest forms of exercise you learn, it is rather efficient as well. Not only does it get you to Point B, it also relieves fatigue, clears the mind, controls weight, cures insomnia and increases bone mass.
Walking is the best overall exercise according to experts and numerous studies. If done correctly, this low-impact exercise has several long-term benefits.
Walking Increases bone mass
While eating right certainly helps, weight-bearing exercises such as walking can increase bone mass. Walking is as good as running, if not safer. Stick to a regular regime once you get started – walking for at least 20 minutes and more than thrice a week.
However, you have to be patient, it takes a lot of time to see its benefits.
The good news? No one is too old to get started and menopausal women find that this is a great way of strengthening bones.
Walking Alleviates Constipation
Walking stimulates muscles all over the body and increases blood circulation, especially in the stomach. Pregnant women adapt easily to this as a kind of light workout.
Walking Keeps a Check on Diabetes
Brisk walking helps Type II diabetics by leading to weight loss. If you walk at least a mile everyday, you would be burning close to 100 calories and after a year you would have lost close to 10 pounds.
It also helps improve blood-sugar control. Compared to those who lead relatively sedentary lifestyles, those who walk regularly find that insulin is efficiently absorbed by the body.
Walking Gets Rid of Insomnia
Insomnia can disturb the delicate balance of your body and lead to changes in your hormones. However, walking in the late afternoon or early in the evening tires your muscles, increases blood circulation and raises the body temperature. Once you get home, the temperature begins to fall, making you feel sleepy. Coupled with the right diet, walking can help alleviate sleeplessness.
Walking Relieves Sinusitis
Most people suffering from sinusitis feel some kind of relief when they are active in a normal environment. Indeed, any form of exercise releases adrenalin in the body that constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling in the sinuses. Walking is one such kind of exercise that relieves the problems caused due to sinusitis.
Walking Cures Varicose veins
Sitting or standing for too long makes the blood pool in your lower extremities. But walking can prevent this. Studies have shown that adults who lead sedentary lifestyles were more likely to have varicose veins than those who walked at least twice in a day.
Walking Helps Preventing Arterial & Heart Disease
Walking briskly increases the protective HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the body, this in turn strengthens the heart and helps in controlling weight.
Walking Also Relieves Pain
Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers are released as a person works out. This effect lasts for several hours and can be made to last for longer if the exercise time is staggered through the day — 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the late afternoon.
Walking Beats Cellulite
Walking tightens the muscles and improves body tone and helps with acne. It also boosts the circulation of lymph in the body which would have otherwise led to an accumulation of fats in the tissues.
Read your body’s signals before you embark on a long walk, always warm up if you have just had a meal. Check your blood pressure and heartbeat rate before and after. Do not push yourself too far, rather work gradually towards taking longer and longer walks. Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes. If you find someone to accompany you on the walks, it serves two purposes, one, you keep your mind off worrying about not doing it right, two, if while talking you are short of breath it is an indicator that you are pushing yourself too hard.