Walking has been rightly hailed as a great way to exercise, and everyone is aware that exercise is good for health. If you need a purpose to get started, choose from these top reasons why you should go for a walk.
Walking Is Free and Low Impact
You don’t have to buy expensive fitness equipment or join a club to go for a walk (although walking clubs can be a lot of fun, and joining one when it is safe to socialize again is a good motivator). Walking is also a low impact exercise, meaning it’s easy on the joints.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Walking improves circulation, and consistently walking thirty minutes a day, five days a week reduces the risk of heart attacks. Taking a walk several times a week can reduce blood pressure and help lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Helps Maintain Healthy Weight and Control Blood Sugar
Taking a walk after eating a meal, even for just fifteen minutes, lowers your blood sugar. Thirty minutes of walking burns approximately 200 calories, so walking consistently can lead to weight loss over time.
Strengthens Muscles and Bones
Taking a brisk walk helps tone the legs and abs. Unlike swimming in which the water buoys you and helps support your weight, walking engages your body in a weight-bearing exercise. Because your frame is moving your weight through space, you are strengthening your bones and reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Moving around is a good way to stave off osteoarthritis, too, because your body releases lubricants to your joints when you move. You also build muscle that supports your joints.
Walking Boosts Your Mood and Reduces Stress
Walking will make you feel better physically, but a top reason for going for a walk is that it will make you feel better emotionally. Moderate exercise such as walking releases the “happy hormone” and neurotransmitters that boost mood and leave a feeling of contentment. When you’re happy and content, your stress levels go down. Walking cleans up the stress hormone cortisol (the “fight or flight” hormone) and helps you feel calmer and less anxious. Combine a walk with a beautiful natural environment, and you have a recipe for reducing depression.
Walking Is Good for Your Brain
Improvements in circulation mean there is more blood flowing through the brain, providing oxygen and energy to brain cells. It helps improve memory because exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus—the locus of memory and learning in the brain—to grow.
Add a walking stick to a walk over rougher terrain to enjoy natural trails through forest preserves and other natural areas. Walking sticks add style and stability for a hike, but they aren’t made to bear a lot of weight. If balance and support are an issue, a walking cane is a better choice. Fashionable Canes has hundreds of choices of walking sticks and canes for various needs.