Walking is an intrinsic human function that fulfills many roles. First of all, it helps to clear the mind, control the rhythm of thoughts and calm us down. Second, it’s a great exercise that helps tone your legs, lose extra weight, improve lung ventilation, and overall health. It is also a great way to reduce your risk of heart disease. Temporarily speeds up the heart rate, increasing blood circulation through the body and carrying more oxygen to other organs. At the same time, walking increases the lungs’ ability to absorb oxygen from the air, lowers blood pressure, and improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Walking can help slow down the aging process and it works no matter what age you start at. It is low-impact, requires no special equipment or skills, and can be performed at any time of the day and at your own pace. Plus, you can walk without worrying about the risks generally associated with some vigorous forms of exercise.
When we walk, we carry our own body weight. It’s called weight training and some of its benefits are:
Increased fitness of the heart and lungs.
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Better management of hypertension, diabetes, muscle and joint stiffness
- Improved blood lipid profile
- Increased muscle strength
- Reduced body fat.
For general and beneficial heart health benefits, you need to walk at least 30 minutes a day as quickly as possible. Energetically means you can still speak, but you may be a little puffing. It doesn’t even have to be continuous; three ten-minute walks a day will also work just as effectively. You will help lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart just by walking regularly. So, try to make walking your daily routine:
- Go up the stairs and avoid the elevator
- Get off public transport one or two stops early and walk to the final destination (home or work)
- Walk, not drive, to local stores.
- Take your kids to school
- Park your car further away from your destination.
As mentioned, regular walking triggers anti-aging processes and also helps repair old DNA. To stay motivated, take a walk with friends or co-workers for lunch, walk your dog or your neighbor’s dog, join a walking club, use a pedometer or your phone app to measure the number of steps taken per day. and start increasing gradually. It is recommended to start with 2,000 steps and work towards the goal of 5,000 steps. Once you’ve reached your desired goal, you may just want to maintain your fitness level or set a goal of 10,000 steps. Remember, even a little walk is good, but more is better.
However, put your safety first. If the weather is harsh and the streets are slippery, you might be better off walking through a mall, down long corridors, or up the stairs.