Health experts and doctors always recommend putting in regular exercise to help keep your body and health in shape. In addition to helping keep the blood flowing and heart pumping, regular exercise increased a person’s flexibility as well as boost his/her moods. One way to get the much-desired exercise is putting in a few minutes of your time walking. Taking at least a 15-minute walk with colleagues or alone keeps your body active and also improves your social life.
How much exercise do I need and how can walking improve my health. These are but some of the questions any sane person will ask. Here are some of the ways walking will improve your health.
- It Helps with Weight Loss
Walking is one of the crucial exercises one needs to focus on and especially as he/she gets older. This is because metabolic processes slow down as we get older, a factor that makes one put on some weight. Walking is not only easy but also helps the body burn more calories than we ingest. By inducing increased respiration rates, the excess calories and fats are respired thus helping one maintain a healthy weight, and even tone down. According to a survey conducted in England (2014), at least 78% of men aged between 65 and 74, 80% of men aged 75 and 84, and 70% of women aged between 65 and 85 are obese. Walking is the only viable exercise for most of these.
- Brisk Walking Promotes Heart Health
Statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that 1 in every 7 men and 1 in every 10 women die of coronary heart disease in the UK alone. This condition is however only prevalent with individuals living sedentary lives. Brisk walking is known to increase the heart rate, a factor that helps reduce the risk of hypertension and heart diseases in the long-term.
High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for stroke for individuals aged 65 and above according to Senior Care Center srcarecenter.com. In addition to lack of exercise, diet plans and lifestyles that many people lead today (especially Asians) puts many people at the risk of CHD.
- It Reduces the Risk of Developing Cancer
Walking provides the body with enough exercise to help reduce the development of cancerous cells in the body. As simple as it may sound, a 15- minute walk can help lower your risk of contracting bowel, breast, or even womb cancer significantly. Research conducted in the UK by the Cancer Research UK shows that 1 in every 4 deaths in the country is cancer-related.
- Walking Lowers the Risk of Contracting Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a common condition among overweight and obese individuals in the UK. About 3.9 million adults in the UK as of 2015 had diabetes with the number rising alarmingly. Although the condition may be prevalent among Black Africans, Black Caribbean’s, the Chinese and individuals of the Asian descent, anyone can contract type 2 diabetes. Luckily though, living a healthy lifestyle and putting in regular exercise lowers the risk significantly.
- Walking Strengthens your Bones
Walking alone does help your bones in a big way. It prevents the onset of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. Women are at a higher risk of the condition with 1 in every 2 women, and 1 in 5 men at risk of contracting the disease. Walking every day in the right sort of shoes can, however, lower the risk of contracting this condition according to Orthotic Shop.
- It Improves One’s Mental Wellbeing and Mood
As mentioned earlier, regular exercise plays a huge role in blood circulation and a person’s wellbeing. Walking not only helps the heart pump blood more efficiently but also makes it possible to breathe the fresh air outside. It is particularly fulfilling when walking in the park where the air is fresh. Simply breathing the fresh air helps lower stress levels. You also get a chance to meet new people hence improve your social life.
- Walking Reduces the Risk of Dementia
There is adequate proof showing that leading an active and healthy lifestyle does help lower the risk of developing dementia. That said, regular exercise is equally beneficial to persons with dementia as well. The increased physical activity not only improves blood circulation but also promotes better sleep, flexibility, as well as improve memory and cognitive functions.
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