Walking as simple as it sounds can have a very significant effect on your health, especially your heart. Whether it’s a brisk walk or stroll, alone or with friends or family, it is advisable to incorporate walking into your daily life. This article will show you the benefits of walking every day, especially for your physical health.
A lot of us due to the nature of activities or our jobs are unable to create time to exercise properly or even prepare healthy home-cooked meals. Stay-at-home jobs being more common these days also contribute to living a sedentary life which can be very dangerous for the heart.
The human body was not meant to be inactive and so jobs or practices that involve sitting on a spot for a long period of time can be very detrimental to one’s health
Even if High Intensity (HIIT) workout routines and strict diets are unachievable, a lifestyle of walking every day can reduce your chances of developing heart problems.
How long should I walk every day to stay healthy?
Walking for 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week is a good way to improve or maintain your overall health. For people who count steps, it is advisable to do about 10,000 steps and for others who count in distance covered, this equates to about 8 kilometers or 5 miles.
If you are already markedly overweight, have a heart condition, or have not exercised in a long time, you can cover less distance when you are starting. This will generally ease your heart into the habit of walking.
The benefits of walking every day.
Helps burn excess unwanted calories
Walking every day helps burn calories. Depending on your weight, walking 10,000 steps burns between 250 and 600 calories. Sometimes incorporating brisk walks in between can even burn a lot more which will help in overall weight management and less storage of unwanted fats.
Helps improve one’s mood
Taking a walk every day especially in the early mornings or in the evenings has a great effect on your mood. Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. You can make your walks social by doing it with your partner, a neighbor, or a good friend—that interaction helps you feel connected, which can make you feel happier. Daily walks have been shown to also decrease the risk of depression.
Boosts Brain activity
Physical exercise, like walking, can improve brain function, especially in older men and women. Experts think these benefits could be due in part to increased blood flow to the brain that occurs with exercise.
Prevents the onset of Chronic diseases
A 2019 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine followed 1,564 adults older than 49 with lower-body joint pain. Participants who walked for an hour each week were more likely to remain disability-free four years later. The American Diabetes Association recommends walking to lower blood sugar levels and your overall risk of diabetes. If you clock in 10,000 daily steps, your systolic blood pressure is likely to be 2.25 points lower than someone else who walks only 5,000 daily steps. This alone shows that walking can help prevent chronic conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, Arthritis, and Heart failure.
It is advisable to take a walk after meals in the evening as it helps your food to digest properly thereby boosting metabolism. When you walk, blood flow to the intestines is increased thereby increasing intestinal motility and in turn, speeding up the digestive process. This also prevents or reduces the occurrence of conditions like constipation, bloating, and regurgitation of food.
Promotes better sleep
Walking daily has a significant positive impact on sleep quality and length of sleep. This is because as you walk, not only is your mood boosted, but your cortisol (stress hormone) levels drop which in turn promotes better secretion of melatonin and improves sleep quality.
Boosts your Immune System
We’re all looking for ways to improve our immunity, so i am happy to inform you that walking seems to be a good way to achieve this. Research shows that moderate-intensity exercise—and walking in particular—ramps up our immune system.
How can I include daily walking into my lifestyle?
As earlier mentioned, a busy schedule may make it difficult to take out time to walk, or sometimes you may be so stressed that you procrastinate or even cancel out walking. Here are some tips to help you improve your walking habits
- Set an alarm or daily reminder
- Place a self-reward on a particular amount of steps or distance covered per day
- Join a walking group or have a partner to help encourage and remind you
- Get a Pedometer or set up one on your watch, phone, or other gadgets
- Take it easy and do not put pressure on yourself
In summary, walking daily is a great way to keep fit and healthy and is something you should incorporate into your life and that of your loved ones.
We have highlighted the benefits of walking every day, but walking alone is not enough to prevent heart problems and other chronic conditions. A healthy lifestyle in general and regular health checks are also necessary.
Before embarking on very long walks or vigorous exercise, it is important to do a health check and screen for any unknown or underlying conditions that could affect your heart. You can have this test done in the comfort of your home, with a doctor’s recommendation to guide you on having the right exercise plan for your health and wellness. Ready to book, click here.