THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING FOR EXERCISE
We’re all looking for ways to improve our cardiovascular fitness, burn fat, build lean muscle mass, and generally provide a furnace for the calories we consume throughout the day. But as we get older and more experienced, we can become ever more averse to new forms of exercise. Fortunately, however, a fantastic form of exercise is available to one and all. It’s able to help you maintain a trim waistline, burn calories and even improve your mental health. Best of all, it is completely free to do, requires no expensive gear and can be done virtually anywhere. We’re talking, of course, about walking. You may not be aware of all the health benefits of walking for exercise.
There have been studies that suggest people who walk 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits. If you are someone who is just starting an exercise regimen, start with what is comfortable for YOU. It may be a good idea to start out with a smaller target number of steps then work your way up from there.
Many of us are a little unaware when it comes to the health benefits of walking, or perhaps don’t view it as “real” exercise because it’s so accessible. However, first of all, walking can burn anywhere between 90 and 200 calories per half hour. And that’s only the beginning. Walking also has many other benefits and helps to:
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Improve your balance and coordination
– Strengthen bones
– Improve your mood
– Strengthen muscles
Moreover, walking won’t put the same pressure on your joints as running, and is a whole lot more pleasurable than most other forms of exercise. Let’s take a look at some additional benefits of walking:
>Walking gets you on the path to heart health
Around 49% of Americans have at least one of the three risk factors of heart disease. As such, we owe it to ourselves to keep our tickers in tip top condition. While running and cycling may be go-to exercises for heart health, a brisk walk is also great cardiovascular exercise if you suffer from joint pain or never learned how to ride a bike. A brisk walk 3 or 4 times a week can cut your risk of heart attack.
> Walking is a great way to improve your mental health
There are many of us for whom health isn’t merely a matter of the corporeal. Our psychological health is incredibly important and 40 million Americans today suffer from anxiety and / or depression. Not all exercises are alike and some may not be the perfect exercise for those plagued by anxiety or who are likely to compare themselves to others. Walking, on the other hand has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of depression when done regularly. Plus, you’ll get all the health benefits of getting out in the sun.
> Walking helps you to read more books
We all wish we could read more, but getting some down time in which to read can be a struggle when you have a busy lifestyle. Most of us don’t get the opportunity until we turn in for the night and even then it can be a struggle to keep our eyes open. Instead, why not invest in some audio books and take them on a long, brisk walk with you? You’ll burn calories while burning through your reading list!
Did you know?
Walking can prevent or help manage health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
When you are walking for exercise, you should maintain good posture. Below are the techniques you should maintain the entire time you are walking:
– Your head should be up and looking forward and not looking down at the ground.
– Your stomach muscles should be slightly tightened.
– The back should be straight and not arched forward or backward.
– Your neck, shoulders and back should be relaxed and not stiff up around your ears.
– Swing your arms freely and slightly bent at the elbows.
Before starting a walking routine, there are certain things to remember to get prepared:
– Choose the right shoes
In an effort to take good care of your feet, choose a shoe with good arch support, thick flexible soles for cushion, and a firm heel.
– Warm up, cool down and stretch
You want to prevent any kind of injury that can occur, so treat your body with the same concern as you would with any other kind of exercise.
– Choose your course
If you are walking outside, avoid areas with cracked sidewalks and potholes. If you are walking in high traffic areas, be very careful. If you do find yourself in a situation where your walk results in injury caused by another’s negligence, an attorney at The Rybak Firm can help you pursue justice. If you run into inclement weather, consider walking in doors at a local mall.
This is a contributed affiliate post.
FINAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Walking is a great exercise that has many benefits you may not be aware of. While running and cycling are great exercises, walking is just as beneficial. Before beginning a walking program, do some research and purchase a good quality shoe to maintain the health of your feet. Walking is inexpensive and can be done just about anywhere – indoors and outdoors. So, get out and get moving!
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