The easiest exercise to perform is walking. Not only can you do it anywhere, but it is free to do as well. The main benefit of walking is weight control. You can lose weight if you walk regularly every day. However, there are many other benefits to walking that most people don’t even think about. Below are 10 more ways in which walking can benefit your life.
1. BETTER BRAIN HEALTH
When you get older, walking regularly will reduce your risk of developing brain disorders like dementia. Walking has also been known to have anti-aging effects on the body as well. An Annals of Neurology study conducted on 69 people between the ages of 55 and 58, found that when each participant exercised as often as the American Heart Association recommended they significantly reduced their chance of obtaining Alzheinmers disease.
Walking in reverse (backward) may help enhance your cognitive function. According to a study done in the Netherlands, people who walk backward can process thoughts faster. When structuring your exercise routine, you should try some brain-improving activities like this. Another exercise activity could involve moving in a particular pattern or fashion while coordinating the movements of your arms. These extra actions while walking will enhance the health of your brain.
2. STRONGER BONES
You should keep walking in your routine always. It keeps your bones strong and helps prevent osteoporosis. According to a study from Nurses’ Health, women that walk for at least 240 minutes per week will have a 40% less chance of fracturing their hip. You could also strengthen your bones from more intense exercises, like weightlifting, running, and jumping, but walking can still be just as effective. If you are getting into a workout routine and want something with less intensity, then walking is great to do. It will be less stressful on your joints while still strengthening your bones.
3. BETTER MOOD
If you are feeling stress and anxiety during the day, try taking a walk to “cool off.” Many health studies have found that walking can make you feel more relaxed and less stressed. If you can walk outside and surround yourself with greenery, it is even better. Being out in nature helps meditate the brain and will make you feel less frustrated.
4. IMPROVES CIRCULATION
Consistent physical exercise will do wonders for your heart health. It will increase circulation, lower your chances of getting a stroke and reduce your blood pressure. Taking a brisk 30-minute walk every day will enhance the health of your heart.
5. LESS CHANCE OF FALLING OR TRIPPING
Walking regularly can reduce your chances of tripping or falling, especially as you get older. People who don’t walk much tend to have weak shin muscles and bones. That is why a lot of older people tend to lose their balance so easily. If you walk every day, your lower body will get stronger, and your balance will drastically improve. Walk heel-to-toe to strengthen shin muscles. As your foot moves upward, move it closer to the shin.
6. IMPROVE MEMORY
Is your memory fading? If you walk on a regular basis, you can enhance a portion of your brain known as the hippocampus. This area is responsible for learning and retaining knowledge in both short-term, and long-term memory. A study down by researchers at the University of California – San Francisco found that women aged 65 and older who walked regularly had lower memory decline than those who did not walk.
7. REDUCE THE PAIN OF CONDITIONS LIKE FIBROMYALGIA OR ARTHRITIS
Walking daily may help improve symptoms and reduce pain for those who have fibromyalgia or arthritis. Walking is a stress-free low impact exercise that can improve your overall function and reduce pain for most. Check with a doctor to make sure it is okay.
8. BALANCED LEVELS OF BLOOD GLUCOSE
Your levels of blood glucose can improve by taking a nice brisk walk, especially if you do so after eating. According to a Diabetes Care study that was published, walking for just 15 minutes after eating was able to reduce blood sugar levels as much as walking 45 minutes at any other time of day.
9. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE HEALTH
Walking daily may even help naturally protect yourself from getting sick by boosting your immune system health. Walking and regular exercise can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, which in turn reduces your risk of developing diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and cancer.
10. BETTER SLEEP
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, walking can improve your chances of falling asleep more quickly. Take a walk outside every morning and expose yourself to the natural daylight. This will balance your circadian rhythms so that you will be ready to sleep once it turns dark.