Benefits of Walking
Walking has countless benefits ... whether you know it or not. It is so enjoyable and easy, and it does so many good things for you.
You’re improving your cardiovascular condition if you’re regularly getting your heart rate in your aerobic training zone. This can mean lower blood pressure, lower resting heart rate, and increased oxygen delivery to your muscles.
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of heart disease significantly as well as improve your cholesterol profile, and reduce your risk of diabetes. Walking can also increase bone mineral content and help prevent osteoporosis.
Longevity and Aging
While exercising may help you live longer, more important is its power to improve the quality of life as you age. Recent research suggests that much of what we consider a part of aging—weakness, declining aerobic activity, and increased body fat—is really the result of inactivity.
The psychological benefits of walking are paid immediately in the form of improved mood. Walking can have a powerful effect on your life. It can reduce depression, tension, anxiety, and increased feelings of well being.
Researchers hypothesize that because walking improves circulation and increases oxygen delivery while reducing depression and anxiety, it makes us feel more upbeat.
We know there’s no validation to the theory that we can actually spot reduce, but it is a physiological fact that walking (especially walking at a fast pace) trains and tones the muscles of the legs, buttocks, upper thighs, as well as the abdominals.
Calorie Burning and Weight Control
The evidence about exercise and weight loss is overwhelming. If you want to lose pounds permanently, exercise must be a part of the program. The reasons are clear to begin with, you burn calories when you walk. With fast walking, you’re going to maximize that caloric expense, but studies suggest that regular walking also helps with weight loss in other ways. Your metabolism seems to stay slightly higher for a few hours after you stop exercising, burning even more calories.
NOTE: If you have a chronic illness or joint problems or any exercise restrictions you need to check with your health care provider before starting any exercise program.