Modern lifestyles have become so hectic and sedentary at the same time, that we ended up stressed and suffering from various health issues, mainly attributed to physical inactivity.
Experts are regularly advising us not to forget the significance of physical activity, but many still put it on the bottom of the to-do lists for the day, making up excuses like a lack of time, exhaustion, and so on.
On the other hand, there is a growing number of people aware of the importance of physical exercise, but still do not regard walking as the best way to gain fitness and lose weight.
Walking is the oldest human physical activity, and it is extremely beneficial for our bodies.
It accelerates metabolism without wearing down the joints, and burns calories, but this is only a small part of the numerous advantages of the activity. Scientists confirm that it is one of the best exercises to prevent weight gain, and feel younger, healthier, and happier.
It has helped people control body weight and boost their longevity since the beginning of time.
When the Centers for Disease Control in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine first recommended at least 30 minutes of “brisk walking” for all adults most days of the week in the 1990s, many started to intentionally walk to lose weight and fight diseases.
Soon afterward, the American Heart Association also recommended “30 minutes of walking daily”, helping it to become a popular, cost-effective, moderate-intensity physical activity.
Over the years, studies have been linking walking to the prevention of conditions and diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, anxiety, depression, arthritis, fatigue, dementia, hormonal imbalances, PMS symptoms, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline, and thyroid disorders.
This simple but advantageous activity is now being touted as “the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” in the words of Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here are six health benefits of walking:
- It can fight chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. It is one of the safest exercise forms, supports joints with improved circulation which helps the lymphatic system to do its job, and lowers inflammation.
- Walking is a free, effective, and simple way to maintain a good physical shape, and improve muscular, heart and hormonal functioning.
- Walking is an incredibly effective way to maintain a healthy weight. It is an easy exercise to keep up with, has a low risk of causing injuries, and does not cause exhaustion compared to more intense workouts.
- It lowers the risk of strokes, coronary heart disease, and heart attacks. A study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine in 2013 showed that a brisk walk positively affects resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity, maximal oxygen consumption and quality of life.
- Walking is a natural way to improve mood, and fight depression and anxiety. Commonly known as ‘’runners high’’, all forms of exercise release natural ‘feel good’ hormones in the brain, including endorphins.
- Taking a regular walk stops the loss of bone mass due to aging. Walking is a great way to fight against gravity, as it forces the bones to become stronger to continue supporting the body weight and lowers the risk for fractures or osteoporosis.
Walking is low impact exercise that requires minimal equipment, can be performed at your own pace, and at any time.
It is excellent for overweight people, elderly, and for those who haven’t exercised in a long time, as they should not worry about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise.
Our health condition should be our priority, as our body is the house we live in. Unfortunately, we often neglect this and worry about our health only when we are already experiencing a problem.
Remember, failing to take proper care of our health will ruin all our chances of enjoying life in the long run.
A Western scientist, the Indian spiritual master, and author of the system “Yoga in Daily Life”, His Holiness Vishwaguru Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwaranda, says:
“Health is not everything, but everything is nothing without health!”
Therefore, go out and boost your health by making walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle!