Walking is a gentle, rewarding and virtually risks-free form of exercise. The cost involved in this exercise is low and the benefits are numerous. People of all ages can enjoy the benefits of walking. All you need is just a pair of comfortable shoes, a portable music player if you like, to get started. For maximum benefits one should walk briskly – the more briskly you walk, the more calories you will be able to burn. However, there are a few precautions that you should take when brisk walking. Always wear comfortable shoes that fit well and provide good stability. Always walk in parks, trails or sidewalks meant for walking. If by any chance, you have a medical condition that could be adversely affected by brisk walking, consult a physician before starting.
If you like to walk early morning, you will not only enjoy basking in the sun and enjoy the benefits of getting adequate vitamin D but also will get to enjoy the fresh early morning air.
Here are a few reasons why walking at least for 30 to 40 minutes should be a part of your daily life:
- It boosts your heart health
It is a known fact that regular walking can reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke considerably. It keeps the cholesterol in check and also helps in maintaining ideal blood pressure level.
- It can help in keeping chronic diseases at bay
Brisk walking for 30 to 40 minutes every day will minimize the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, asthma, certain cancers and osteoporosis.
- It will help you lose weight
Brisk walking every day for 40 minutes will help you get closer to your ideal body weight. The weight loss you will experience will be throughout your body- right from the abdomen, thighs, hips and legs and it will occur at a healthy and steady rate. Walking speed and intensity are factors that are crucial in determining how much weight you will lose.
- It can ward off dementia
As surprising as it sounds, it is however true. Elderly people who follow a regular walking schedule can minimize the risk of brain shrinkage and hence can ward off dementia considerably.
- It strengthens the bones
Walking can actually stimulate and strengthen the bones and increase its density. It helps in maintaining healthy joints and keeps arthritis at bay. People who walk regularly complain less about stiff muscle joints, or muscular pain. Women who walk regularly have a lower risk of osteoporosis.
- It enhances your mood
Walking is a form of exercise and the ability of exercises to enhance and uplift one’s mood is well known. When youbrisk walk, hormones called endorphins are released in the body. This hormone is a feel-good hormone that fights depression, reduces stress and anxiety, and boosts the mood. If you like to walk alone, just plug in your iPod and hit the road. If you love walking in groups, you have some other added advantages too – you get to meet likeminded people, make new friends and steer clear of the dangers of isolation and loneliness.
- It increases your energy level
A session of 30-40 minutes brisk walking will leave you energized and invigorated. It will boost blood circulation and increase the oxygen supply throughout the body, thereby making you feel alert and active. It also increases your muscle strength, stamina and endurance.
If you have just started with your brisk walking routine, start slowly and take short walks for a couple of days. Once, you get the hang of it you can increase the time, pace and intensity gradually.