Do you know the health benefits of walking at least 30 minutes each day? Walking is a great way to improve and maintain our overall health.
Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance.
According to betterhealth.vic.gov.au, walking can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
Health Benefits Of Walking
Strengthens Your Heart
Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. It lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and keeps blood pressure in check.
Lowers Disease Risk
As well as heart disease, a walking habit can slash your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers.
It Keeps Weight In Check
Walking can also increase muscle mass and tone and the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.
Helps Prevents OSTEOPOROSIS
Walking stimulates and strengthens bones, increasing their density – really important, especially for women. It also helps maintain healthy joints so may stave off conditions such as arthritis.
Helps Shape Your Legs And Body
A good walk can help strengthen and shape your legs, giving great definition to calves, quads, hamstrings and lifting your glutes. But if you really pay attention to your posture as you walk, it can tone your abs and your waist, too.
Boosts Your Vitamin D Levels
If you’re walking outside in daylight, you’ll be boosting your body’s stores of vitamin D – a nutrient that’s hard to get from food, but that we can synthesis from exposure to sunlight.
Boosts Your Energy
YES! It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to each and every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive according to lamoiredelana.com.
To get the health benefits, try to walk for at least 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week . ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing , and you may be puffing slightly . Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk but, if you have a medical condition , check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program of physical activity .
Try to make walking a routine for example , try to walk at the same time each day. Remember, you use the same amount of energy , no matter what time of day you walk , so do what is most convenient for you . You may find that asking someone to walk with you will help make it a regular activity . Some people find that keeping an activity diary or log also makes it easier .
A pedometer measures the number of steps you take . You can use it to measure your movement throughout a day and compare it to other days or to recommended amounts . This may motivate you to move more. The recommended number of steps accumulated per day to achieve health benefits is 10 ,000 steps or more.
The best way to warm up is to walk slowly . Start off each walk at a leisurely pace to give your muscles time to warm up , and then pick up the speed . Afterwards , gently stretch your leg muscles – particularly your calves and front and back thighs. Stretches should be held for about 20 seconds . If you feel any pain , ease off the stretch . Don ’t bounce or jolt, or you could overstretch muscle tissue and cause microscopic tears , which lead to muscle stiffness and tenderness.
It ’s best to dress lightly when you do physical activity . Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature , which can make you uncomfortable during a walk or possibly cause skin irritations . A gradual cool -down will also prevent muscular stiffness and injury.
Walking is a low – cost and effective form of exercise . However , the wrong type of shoe or walking action can cause foot or shin pain , blisters and injuries to soft tissue . Make sure your shoes are comfortable , with appropriate heel and arch supports . Take light , easy steps and make sure your heel touches down before your toes . Whenever possible, walk on grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact
Safety measures while walking
Walking is generally a safe way to exercise , but look out for unexpected hazards.
See your doctor for a medical check-up before starting a new fitness program, particularly if you are aged over 40 years, are overweight or haven’t exercised in a long time.
Choose walks that suit your age and fitness level. Warm up and cool down with a slow, gentle walk to ease in and out of your exercise session.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and appropriate footwear to avoid blisters and shin splints.
Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat to avoid sunburn.
Take waterproof clothing to avoid getting wet if it rains.
Carry a walking stick or umbrella to fend off unleashed, unfriendly dogs.
Before bushwalking, check the weather forecast and take appropriate safety measures (for example, pack correct clothing).
Look out for hazards in alpine or coastal areas, such as cliff edges or large waves.
Drink plenty of fluids before and after your walk. If you are taking a long walk, take water with you.
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