Walking is a great way to improve your health, and increase your level of fitness. Not only is it free, and you don’t have to waste your money on often restrictive gym memberships, but walking can be done almost anytime or anywhere, and can accommodate your schedule. You can vary the type of workout you get by varying your speed, your routes, and other factors, such as whether or not you choose to carry weights. Learn how walking can benefit you.
A lot of general benefits can come from walking. Building strength and endurance is just the beginning of the benefits that can come from this simple activity. It can help with your balance and coordination, increase energy, and reduce fatigue. The physical activity improves your blood flow, which can better your memory, better your mood, and decrease stress. This aids in your mental and emotional well-being. All of these are vital when it comes to your health. There are also many specific effects walking can have on the human body.
One of the top reasons people choose to walk is to lose weight, or to maintain their current weight. The number of calories burned while walking varies with distance, speed, and, yes, even your weight. Depending on your weight, walking at a fairly moderate speed, you can burn anywhere from 53 to 159 calories for every mile you walk. On average, people can walk a mile in about 20 minutes, so in an hour, it’s possible that you could burn up to 477 calories! Since a pound of fat is 3,500 calories, simply getting off the couch every night for an hour to an-hour-and-a-half could help you lose a pound a week.
Technique can be key to the end result. One must have good posture, by keeping their head up, but must stay relaxed. Swinging one’s arms can contribute to a more complete workout, while increasing your speed, which burns more calories. As well as losing weight, you’ll also be losing that body fat that’s possibly been bothering you. Movement will contribute to the toning of your body, and with continued, regular walks, you’ll be able to notice improvement in areas of the body such as your stomach, legs, and buttocks. Working your arms, either with or without weights, while walking will improve their appearance too.
The extent and type of walking will be what gets you the results you’re looking for. Distance, and well as time, are what will show you the most results. As you become more accustomed to your walking routine, you can increase the distance, increase the speed at which you walk, or do something known as interval walking. Interval walking consists of walking at one speed, increasing your speed for a short distance, then returning to your previous speed, and doing this throughout your walk to increase the calories burned. One can vary interval walking, by actually running during those times of increased speed, rather than just walking.
You can (and should) also add variety and challenges to once you’re up to it. A challenge is needed to keep your body working towards burning more calories each time, rather than doing the same old routine. Once it’s routine, your body won’t show you the same results you once had, and reach a calorie-burning plateau. It could become discouraging if you don’t change things up.
Suggested ways to make your walk more challenging include walking backwards, and taking walks on more difficult terrain, such as sand. One can also plan walks up hills or stairs, to make your body work harder. While walking, holding light weights in your hands, and doing various arm exercises can allow for you to have a total body workout while you walk.
Walking really is the ideal way to workout. You can achieve a lot physically, quite easily.
A walk will greatly benefit your heart. Getting up and moving by taking a walk is a surefire way to get the blood pumping through your body. Increased blood movement in the body can improve blood pressure, and lower bad cholesterol. By working your circulatory system more, and getting more blood flowing to increase the heart rate, a person can have the added benefit of the reduced risk of having a stroke.
Helps Against Specific Diseases
Choosing to walk can be a choice to help avoid certain diseases or help work against ones you may already have. Your risk of developing Diabetes can significantly decrease if you choose to walk. Walking can increase your sensitivity to insulin, thus impacting the effect of insulin resistance, a major factor in the cause of Diabetes.
If you’ve have Fibromyalgia, walking can help reduce the symptoms associated with this disease. Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain, arthritis, pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Regular exercise, especially walking and stretching, can help reduce pain and improve body movement. As discussed previously, walking can have many positive effects on symptoms and issues of the brain, including those associated with this disorder.
Cancer is another major disease where walking can result in positive results. People who walk, both pre and post-diagnosis, are more likely to have higher survival rates once diagnosed and treated. Due to the aided overall health benefits, it can also help lower one’s chance of ever having it to begin with.
Since walking also increases bone density as it strengthens bones, walking can also help prevent the detrimental disease of osteoporosis. Many older people can benefit greatly from participating in this physical activity to avoid this condition.
A Few Extra Added Benefits
In some cases, adding a routine of walking into their day has helped eliminate the need for some people to use certain medications. Often walking contributes to a stronger, healthier immune system. Some women have also had surprisingly results regarding improvements in their sex life. Walking has helped increased sexual desire and satisfaction. In other situations, walking has helped to curb both food and cigarette cravings.
Overall, walking is a beneficial way to work toward your weight loss and fitness goals, while contributing greatly to your general health. What are you waiting for? Start walking!