Do you need to start an exercise program that has a strong impact on you? Do you want to take steps to improve your health, but you need a little push? If so, walking is your path. Every step you take brings benefits. Welcome to a journey through the wonders of walking.
1. Your body burns fat.
Your body is like a car with two fuel tanks for energy. The first tank contains fatty acids. The second tank contains carbohydrates. When you exercise at low intensity, your body burns fat for energy. As you increase the intensity of your exercise, your body uses carbohydrates. Walking is considered a low-intensity exercise, ideal for burning fat. When you walk, 80 percent of your energy is fueled by fat, and 20 percent is fueled by carbohydrates.
A University of Tennessee study found that women who walk while exercising have less fat than those who don’t. The researchers evaluated the effect of walking on body composition in 80 women aged 40-66 years. Each of them carried a pedometer during the day. The women who recorded the most steps had the lowest percentage of body fat.
Walk regularly, and watch the fat melt!
2. Your bones become stronger.
Bone is a living tissue that responds to exercise by increasing its density. The strength of the muscles on the bones stimulates the bone cells to multiply.
Bone mass peaks at the age of 30, after which the bones begin to sink. Weight training protects against bone degeneration — a condition called osteoporosis. Low bone mass creates the basis for a fracture.
A study in Massachusetts on post-menopausal women found that 30 minutes of daily walking reduced the risk of a hip fracture by 40 percent.
Save your precious bones with a daily walk.
3. You become happier.
During a walk, healthy hormones are released, which are called endorphins. These powerful chemicals enhance feelings of pleasure and well-being by acting as natural antidepressants. Endorphins also promote relaxation and pain relief.
A study by California State University found that the more people walk, the brighter their mentality. The researchers evaluated the walking performance of 37 adults over a three-week period. Each participant had a pedometer to track the number of daily steps. At the end of each day, the subjects filled out questionnaires, assessed their mood, depression, and self-esteem. After recording their ratings, they checked the number of steps they scored on their pedometers. Those who walked more often felt a sense of happiness.
4. You become smarter.
Exercise increases memory. Walking speeds up blood circulation, feeding the brain with the oxygen it needs for energy. Increased oxygen increases the brain’s ability to encode and process information. Beneficial enzymes and hormones are activated, enhancing brain function.
Walking also stimulates the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in learning. When the nerve cells in your hippocampus are activated, your ability to think is sharpened.
Swedish research shows that physical activity encourages creativity. This causes the birth of new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis. A 2014 study found that walking provides new insights. The researchers evaluated the performance of the subjects before and after walking. They were able to think of a 60 percent increase in facility usage after a brisk walk.
Research conducted at the University of Illinois showed that after adults exercised for 30 minutes, their cognitive abilities improved by 10 percent.
If you have problems-go on a walk!
5. Your heart is getting healthier.
Walking is a type of aerobic activity that increases the heart rate by promoting blood flow to the heart. This strengthens the heart muscle. Blood pressure is under control, reducing the risk of heart disease. Walking also reduces the level of cholesterol.
A University of Tennessee study found that women who walked two miles a day lowered their blood pressure by 11 points. The study involved 24 postmenopausal women with hypertension, 10 of whom were taking medication for blood pressure. About half of the women increased their daily walk to two miles over a six-month period. The other half did not change their activity level. Women in the first group had a significant decrease in blood pressure.
Get away from heart disease with a fun walk.
6. You strengthen your muscles.
Walking tones up the abdominal and leg muscles. Increasing muscle mass increases your metabolic rate, the rate at which you burn calories.
The walk nourishes the cushioning tissue between the bones, called cartilage. Physical exposure supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cartilage cells, preventing the reduction of arthritis symptoms.
7. You reduce the risk of disease.
Walking reduces the chance of developing diabetes, cancer, and stroke. Physical activity suppresses inflammation and stress. It also enhances hormonal function and the immune system. All of these mechanisms help your body prevent disease.
Exercise helps the body process sugar effectively, protecting against diabetes
The National Cancer Institute reports that people who exercise regularly have a 50 percent lower risk of developing colon cancer. Women who walk moderately for more than three hours a week have a 40% lower risk of breast cancer. The prospect of developing uterine tumors is reduced by 45 percent. You are also less likely to develop lung carcinoma.
Protect yourself from diseases with a daily dose of walking.
8. You are preparing for a deep sleep
Walking increases the effect of melatonin, the sleep hormone. It also triggers the production of the relaxing hormone serotonin. Exercise increases the body temperature and lowers the temperature, which causes drowsiness. When you walk, stress evaporates, so anxious emotions and thoughts do not disturb you before going to bed. You will spend less time to make it easier to live in dreams, and your sleep will be deeper.
A study published in the journal Sleep found that women who worked out about 3.5 hours a week fell asleep faster than those who worked out less frequently.
Become best friends with the Dream Fairy by walking daily!
9. You are less likely to suffer from dementia
Did you know that as we age, our brain slows down? Throughout our lives, there is a decrease in the volume of the brain and the number of nerve cells. This process, known as brain atrophy, is exacerbated by smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. This causes dementia, characterized by forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion, and poor judgment.
Walking protects you from cognitive impairment. They reduce the risk of dementia by 40 percent. By improving blood circulation in the brain, walking preserves nerve cells. The more you walk, the better you protect your brain.
10. You increase your potential life expectancy.
Regular walking contributes to longevity. Analysis of hospital data showed that for every minute of training, seven additional minutes of life are achieved. The study was conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The analysis evaluated six studies involving more than 650,000 people over 10 years. Subjects walked briskly for 2.5 hours a week and received an average of 3.4 years of life.
Live long and thrive with walks!