Is there any other creature apart from humans who move around by getting up and bringing one foot before the other? Our capacity to walk upright has helped humanity to travel great distances and survive changing climates, ecosystems and landscapes. Walking, however, is more than just transportation. Countless research studies have found that this basic act of moving our feet can provide a wide range of health advantages and help us live longer. In reality, if performed correctly, a walking routine could be the only aerobic exercise that people need.

Walking is easy, it does not require any unique equipment, and it is rarely associated with physical injury and people of all ages, including those who have never engaged in physical activity can easily follow it. Studies have shown that walking has greater commitment rates than other types of physical activity, likely because it is safe and convenient. It overcomes many of the obstacles to physical activity that are generally perceived: lack of time, lack of strength or lack of ability.

Energy is spent when engaging in any kind of walking activity; thus, there is a high potential of walking for weight management in the long term. Walking is a dynamic aerobic exercise stimulates a multitude of body processes in the activity of skeletal muscle, including high density lipoprotein metabolism and insulin/ glucose management. It is the most prevalent weight bearing practice, and there are signs of an improvement in associated bone strength at all ages. This physical activity is often used in illness-related exercise research, and though it has rarely been specifically examined, there is increasing evidence of its contribution to heart attack prevention, reduced overall mortality rates, the treatment of hypertension, intermittent claudication and muscoskeletal disorders, and in post-heart attack recovery and chronic respiratory disease.

People have traditionally seen thirty minutes of walking as the goal, rather than the minimum time allocated for exercise. To start with, a steady progression from slow to normal speed is suggested as a general policy; then, one can progress to a brisk walk for thirty-minutes or more. You will usually go at a quicker pace when you walk for shorter periods, which could even be better for you than walking slowly for thirty-minutes straight, as more active workouts may help improve your overall level of fitness. And even lower-intensity workouts such as fast-paced walking will help burn some stored fat from the body. The risk of blood clots is also minimized, as the calf serves as a venous pump, contracting and pumping blood back to the heart from the feet and legs, reducing the pressure on the heart.

 Walking in periods at a time can also give you the little motivation boosts to keep you inspired. You get a sense of satisfaction, whether it’s parking farther away or walking to meet a colleague, or accompanying a friend to the junction. It is these little achievements that end up developing new habits. Benefits of Walking.

• Mood Boosting: Daily walking improves your mood by changing the nervous system so much that you can experience a reduction in frustration and aggression. Especially if you go for a walk through some greenery or soak up some sunlight, this can be particularly helpful. Also, if you make your walk social, the relationship makes you feel connected with, say, your partner, a neighbour, or a good friend.

• Improved Digestion: By walking more, your digestion will improve. If you are already thanking your tea for keeping your digestive system going strong, be prepared instead to begin thanking your morning stroll. This is because the bowel movements can be significantly enhanced by a daily walking routine. Walking is one of the very first activities an abdominal surgery patient has to do because it uses core and abdominal muscles to properly support our GI (Gastrointestinal) system.

• Thinner Waistline: You may find your clothes tend to fit more loosely around your waist as you continue to walk. Even though the number on the scale does not change much. That is because daily walking can help enhance the response of your body to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat. Although we understand that walking is good for the body, studies are now starting to show how it affects brain function. Walking, in particular, may be an efficient way to delay or reduce the cognitive losses that come with aging. Researchers believe that exercises such as brisk walking can improve the cognitive function of the brain, or the ability to develop new neurons and shape new synaptic connections.

By: Lydia Donkor


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