Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking
30 Minutes a Day
By Tanya“When you walk on earth, you must know that one miracle walks on another miracle!” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan (Contemporary Turkish novelist and playwright)
The human race is constantly looking for simple solutions to complex problems.
It’s funny how one of the easiest, cheapest solutions has been under our noses this whole time. Don't have the time to change your routine? Surely you have 30 minutes!
What if I told you that just 30 minutes of walking a day would banish most of your health problems? Don’t believe me? Read on!
Infographic Credit: AirTract.Com
1. Boosts immunity
Various studies done on the impact of aerobic exercise on immunity have concluded that a moderate exercise routine can reduce the occurrence of infections. Walking is the easiest and most moderate form of exercise. In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Nieman DC, Henson DA, Austin MD, et al Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults British Journal of Sports Medicine 2011;45:987-992.),1002 adults participated in a study over 12 weeks. It was seen that with a higher frequency of aerobic exercise there was a lower chance of respiratory infection.
2. Improves heart health
The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of walking a day to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. The whole idea of adopting walking as a routine is that it is low-impact and sustainable. It can be done gently, and with gradually increasing levels of difficulty, causing very little strain and injury. Studies were done by Birmingham University, and the State University of New York have shown that moderately intensive walking could possibly reduce cardiovascular risk factors in the short term.
3. Increases lung capacity
Walking makes use of your entire body in the course of the activity. Because your muscles demand more oxygen as you walk, your lungs work harder to distribute oxygen to them. As they work harder, they improve in capacity, thus helping to circulate oxygen to support more activity. It’s a great energy cycle.
4. Burns fat
The idea of using walking to burn fat is to optimize the time that you have. For example, by breaking up your daily walk into extremely intense bursts of 15 minutes each, you will be able to eventually build up your capacity to burn calories, along with your walking speed. Of course, you can always increase your walking time, if that becomes your preferred exercise activity.
5. Can reduce stress and Depression
A study led by Stanford, and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science revealed that a walk in nature could reduce stress and depression. This is a great remedy to the sense of isolation and lack of natural surroundings. Nature seems to have brain chemistry positively. Walking has often been likened to meditation, in that it is possible to be at peace with the world, and quiet the turbulence within, when going for a walk.
6. Promotes bone and joint health
It’s not just muscle you develop when you exercise, it’s also your bones! It’s important to work on building bone because According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, any weight-bearing exercise will help to develop and strengthen bones. Walking ensures less damage and erosion to bone and muscle mass, as you grow older.
7. Strengthens muscles
Walking shouldn’t be underestimated in a comprehensive strength training program. The muscles strengthened include:
- Calf muscles: They provide an upward and forward momentum when lifting the heel off the ground.
- Abdominal muscles: If you maintain a natural posture, with your back straight as you walk, and consciously pull your stomach muscles in, you’ll help to tone your abdominal muscles as you walk.
- Hip flexor muscles: They lift the thigh forward as you walk.
- Tibialis anterior and ankle extensor muscles: They are on the sides of each shin, and controlling raising and lowering the hamstring muscles.
8. Regulates blood pressure
A study was done by the Korea Institute of Sport Science in Seoul. It found that walking 30 minutes at a stretch could significantly contribute to a reduction in systematic prehypertension.
9. Control cholesterol levels and Diabetes
Exercise is necessary for Diabetics. Walking is ideal to help keep their blood sugars in check. It produces less Cortisol (a stress-hormone produced in stressful situations, and also high-impact exercising), as walking is a low-impact, gentle exercise.
Diabetes has been linked to the high risk of Cholesterol. It therefore makes sense that walking will help to treat both these conditions.
10. Delays Aging
In aging, the muscles and bones tend to deteriorate and waste away. Walking can reduce this, through all the body and muscle strength that brisk walking with strategic resistance training can give. Walking can improve hand-eye coordination and gait, and reduce the risk of falls in later life. Walking is considered to be great at conserving longevity because, compared to other exercises, it involves less wear and tear.
Now that you’ve read about the benefits that 30 minutes of walking can bring, what are you waiting for?
“I’m a Content Writer and Growth Strategist with Airtract.com. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling the world. I love to channel my experiences into my writing. I’m equally happy curled up with a book, learning something new about the universe or planning the next fun thing to do. Life is what you make it. Carpe diem!”
And see: 30 Benefits of Walking 30 Minutes a Day at HobbyHelp.