6 Things That Happen To The Body After Walking Every Day
Walking is one of my favorite activities. It is not only relaxing, but it is also a great form of low impact exercise. Not to mention that it is a fantastic method of transportation.
It is shocking to know that about 80 percent of Americans between 25 and 64 don’t meet their recommended levels of weekly physical activity. Fitness is on the rise. More and more people are moving their bodies. Yet, so many are still not even close to their needed activity level.
Walking may be the answer. It is the most natural and ancient form of exercise. In the past, people didn’t have gyms to join, CrossFit wasn’t a thing and marathons were not on people’s mind. However, historically, people always walked a lot.
Sure, walking might not give you a ripped body with a six-pack like the bodies you see in magazines that are often photo-shopped. However, walking is an extremely beneficial forms of exercise that can boost your physical and mental health at the same time. It can also be a great compliment to other workouts, including HIIT, weight training, running and yoga. The good news is that walking is free and you don’t need special clothes or equipment to do it either.
How Walking Benefits Your Health
Research has shown that regular walking can fight weight gain and can keep your body mass index at a healthy range. It can help you feel healthier, younger and happier.
Walking as an exercise is supported by the American College of Sport Medicine, the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control. A minimum of 30 minutes of daily walking is recommended by the American Heart Association for it how it helps benefit and prevent a number of health conditions, such as:
- Heart disease, hypertension, coronary artery disease
- Depression and anxiety disorders
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline
- Hormonal imbalances
- PMS symptoms
- Thyroid disorders
- Fatigue and low energy levels
Walking can help you develop and practice other healthy habits as well. As you start to feel better, you may be more motivated to eat healthier and take care of your emotional well-being as well.
6 Major Benefits Of Walking
- Weight loss: walking can help you to maintain a healthy weight and lose weight if you need to. However, compared to heavy workouts, walking saves you physical and mental energy to take care of your daily tasks and stay motivated and strong for the rest of the day.
- Joint health and low-impact activity: walking is a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints. It is a safe form of exercise for those with an existing medical condition, the elderly and overweight and obese individuals. Walking can improve circulation, support the joints and lower inflammation without harshly impacting your body.
- Heart health: walking is a beneficial exercise for heart health it is beneficial for resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity and maximal oxygen consumption. It can better your quality of life and help prevent coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
- Mood and depression: walking is excellent for your brain and mental health. It can help release endorphins. It can lower depression, improve your mood, decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s and mental decline and help you feel emotionally good.
- Bone health: walking can stop the the loss of bone health. It can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially as you grow older. It can help maintain strong bones into older age.
- Simple and affordable: walking doesn’t require any equipment, gym memberships, fitness class passes, or fancy clothes. It can save you money while still working your body. It can be done almost anywhere at any time. You can meet your daily walking requirement just by parking 15 minutes away from work and walking there and back, or walking to the store. Walking throughout the day can add up too.
How Much Do I Need To Walk To Lose Weight?
Walking is a moderate intensity activity. A brisk pace is about 3 to 4 miles per hour or more, which can help you lose weight. Counting steps is also popular with a common goal of meeting 10,000 steps a day, which is about 4 to 5 miles. How much walking do you need to lose weight truly depends on many factors, including your weight loss goals, your current fitness and whether or not you are involved with other exercise. The recommended amount of physical activity for adults is a minimum of 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes five days a week. Aiming for this amount is a good goal.
Remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet or lifestyle. If you want to lose weight and get healthier, you need to eat a nutritious whole foods diet rich in grains, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Sleep and reducing stress levels are also important factors for health and weight loss.
Tips For Walking
If you are not active already, it is a smart idea to start slow then pick up the pace slowly. Start with a shorter distance. As an initial goal, aim for 15 to 20 minutes and slowly increase it to 30 to 60 minutes a day. If 15 minutes is too much, start with 10 or even 5. It doesn’t matter where you are now, just start where you can and increase your distance and speed gradually.
Some tips to avoid injuries include:
- Warm up by starting at 50 percent of your maximum effort until your legs feel looser.
- Don’t stretch before walking. Stretching is safer when your muscles are warmed up and more flexible. Stretch after your warm-up or at the end of your walk.
- Once you feel looser, pick up the pace gradually. Aim for a 3-4.5 miles per hour pace. That’s about 15-20 minutes for each mile.
- Practice a good posture with your shoulders relaxed, chest upright and eyes looking ahead.
- End your workout with a few minutes of slower walking. Do some stretching, breathing exercises, perhaps even meditate for 5 minutes for mind-body-soul benefits.
No matter where you are in your fitness, even if you have never exercised in your life, walking is a great option for you. Start slow. Listen to your body. You can improve and achieve your goals with dedication and practice. Everything is possible. I used to avoid exercise whenever possible. I even failed gym class once! Now I walk regularly, love hiking and am an avid runner. Anything is possible. You can get your walks in too. Just follow our tips and get excited for the health benefits.
Do you enjoy walking? What was your most memorable walk or hike? Share your experiences in the comments, we would love to hear from you.
And remember, we’re in this together.
Kat Gál is a professional holistic health writer who helps health, wellness and nutrition businesses to market their products and services through quality online content. She is also a Certified Holistic Health & Life Coach. Kat is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. Reach out if you are looking for amazing blog content at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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