There are many things that happen to our bodies if we walk daily. The great Greek physician Hippocrates once said walking is a man’s best medicine which is totally true! Walking is the simplest form of exercise and is free, requires very little effort and benefits not only your physical health but also your mental well-being.
1. Brain boosting effect a study at the University of Kansas has revealed how low impact aerobic exercises like walking prevent the early onset of dementia and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Over 35 million people around the world suffer from Alzheimer’s and sadly the prevalence is only becoming worse. Scientists predict that this number will double in the next twenty years. The good news is that people who are physically active throughout their life are much less prone to this disease than those who have a more sedentary lifestyle and that is because they have more volume in their hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Plus, walking improves your overall mental well-being by reducing stress and releasing endorphins. It stimulates not only the production of chemicals responsible for brain healthy but also the growth and survival of neural blood vessels and cells.
2. Improved eye- sight: Moving your legs helps your eyes — surprisingly I know! Well, walking can help fight glaucoma by relieving eye pressure. Glaucoma develops when too much fluid builds up in the eye increasing the pressure inside. That pressure, in turn, affects the optic nerve which results in visual impairment. The glaucoma research foundation recommends walking as one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing glaucoma and even relieves its symptoms. If you think you’re way too young to worry about glaucoma you should note that walking is good for eyesight in general. Both low and high intensity exercise strengthens and stimulates the visual cortex, that part of the brain that processes the images our eyes send to it.
3. Heart disease prevention: You are probably aware that running makes your heart stronger, but according to the American Heart Association walking is no less effective than running when it comes to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. A daily thirty- minute walk helps avoid serious problems like coronary heart disease by lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improving blood circulation.
4. Increased lung volume: Walking is an aerobic exercise which means that it increases oxygen flow in the bloodstream and helps eliminate toxins and wastes. In short t’s great for your lungs. Because of better quality and deeper breathing, some symptoms associated with lung disease can show significant improvement. The stress and medication that lung disease brings with it weaken the immune system of those suffering from it. We all know that spending time outdoors is a great immunity booster so why wouldn’t you start walking a little bit every day.
5. Benefits for the pancreas: Believe it or not, walking for exercise is a surprisingly more effective way to prevent diabetes than running is. In a Duke university study, over a six- month trial period, a group of frequent walkers demonstrated a six times greater improvement in glucose tolerance or blood sugar absorption than a group of runners. More efficient use of blood sugar allows your pancreas to produce less insulin giving it a much- needed rest to gather strength.
6. Improved digestion: A short thirty- minute walk per day not only lowers the risk of developing colon cancer but also improves digestion and regulates bowel movements. Walking also better helps the chances of surviving colon cancer even after it’s already been diagnosed. This incredible fact was discovered in a study of over 150,000 men and women where activity levels were compared with number of those who got colon cancer and died of it.
7. Toned muscles: Muscle tone and weight loss is also totally achievable through simple walking. In fact, just 10,000 steps a day can be just as effective as a full-blown workout at the gym, especially if you add some intervals or uphill walking. Just remember to use correct form and keep your spine straight, bend your elbows at a 90 -degree angle and swing your arms to stabilise your pelvis. Find your optimal pace but don’t break out into a jog this sort of speed walking is low-impact and does not require any recovery time which means no sore muscles to keep you from getting out and walking the next day.
8. Stronger bones and joints: Walking can provide more joint mobility and prevent the loss of bone density, and even reduce the risk of fractures. The Arthritis Foundation recommends that at least thirty minutes of moderate walking a day to reduce pain, stiffness and inflammation in the joints. Building strong bones will help you prevent osteoporosis and reduce bone loss to back pain relief yet another ailment. Walking can cure back pain which is a real lifesaver for those who experience back pain during more challenging high-impact exercises since its a low impact activity it owns cause more pain or discomfort like running. Walking contributes to better blood circulation within the spinal structures pumping important nutrients into the soft tissues in improving posture and flexibility, both of which are vital for a healthy spine. As you walk, you make your spine more stable and strengthen the muscles that keep your body upright.
9. A calmer mind: The Journal of Psychiatric Research published the results of a study on 50 individuals suffering from major depression. It showed that walking 30-45 minutes a day five days a week improves their conditions significantly. If walking improves depression symptoms in patients with MDD just imagine how easily it could help us cope with just feeling down or exhausted. Another group of researchers at Iowa state university worked with hundreds of college students. Walking changed the stressed mood for the better even though no one warned them that it could do so and a joyful walk with a friend or loved one will only enhance that happy effect and improve your mood even more.
10. The fit formula: If you can’t wait to get out there and take a nice walk just hold on a little! You shouldn’t try to do too much right away. The fit formula stands for frequency, intensity and a time for how long. When you want to level up you can change one of these components at a time. Frequency, if for whatever reasons you can’t go for a walk every single day do it three-five times a week. If you can only handle a five min walk to start with, do just that, but slowly and gradually add extra minutes to your regular five -minute walks.
We hope that these benefits will help you find your moving motivation! And remember, for all of your sporting apparel needs, come see us as SportsPower Geelong.