Exercising should not be complicated. It should not stress you out or put more burden on your hectic schedule. One way to go about an easy exercise routine is by walking.
If you try it, you will realize that walking is a gradual and fun activity and won’t risk you being burned out. Here are the benefits of walking that you should know about.
You may have probably heard it before, but let me emphasize it again: Walking can actually burn calories, thus helping you lose or maintain weight. How much calories you can burn depends on the distance traveled, your speed, weight and where you walk.
I found out in Harvard Health Publishing that walking for 3.5 miles per hour (or 17 minutes/miles) can burn about 107 calories for a 125-pound person who continues to walk for 30 minutes. This is roughly equivalent to a cup of rice!
Regulating Blood Sugar
If you are a person who struggles with high blood sugar problems, taking a few minutes of walk after eating may help you in lowering your blood sugar levels. Moderate walking can make you breathe faster as your heart pumps more blood. As a result, your muscles will use more glucose (which is the sugar inside your body) to compensate the activity. If this continues over time, your blood sugar levels will be regulated and your insulin levels normalized.
Reducing Risk of Heart Disease
Walking is a cardiovascular exercise, so it directly pertains to the heart. Did you know that doing it for at least half an hour, for five days, can prevent you from coronary heart disease? In fact, when you increase your distance or duration, you are set to have a stronger heart.
Strengthening the Immune System
The positive mood you get while walking will not only improve your mind health, it also improves your immune system.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found out that those who do moderate routines, for 30-45 minutes a day, are 43% less likely to suffer upper respiratory tract infections. Also, if they became ill their URTI symptoms were fewer than in their sedentary compatriots.
Walking can tone your legs and strengthen their muscles. If you want to get shapely legs, try walking on an inclined path. This can also be done on treadmill by adjusting its inclination. Some go up and down the stairs to get into the shape they seek.
Remember though, be sure to properly warm up and cool down when performing a walking routine. You can warm up by doing it at a slow pace for 5-10 minutes, then increase your speed after. When cooling down, do the same by decreasing your speed. Do this for about 5-10 minutes until your heart rate goes down or when you feel your muscles relaxed.
Since walking relieves you from stress, it offers benefits to mind and mood. Many experts say that walking can boost your creative thinking because it clears your mind. Also, consistent walking can tremendously reduce sadness, anxiety, anger, and other negative mood you may be under.
Here’s a tip: Ask your friends or co-workers to walk for a few minutes, especially if something stressful is happening around you. You’ll notice how they can handle problems better and manage emotions better than before.
If you prefer to do it alone, that is absolutely fine. You can make your walking fun by listening to a good music and wearing your favorite shoes.
All that matters is that you are having fun while doing it. I hope you enjoy walking as much as I do!
If you enjoyed this piece, then you should definitely read this one about The Benefits of Walking Meditation, which, yes, is most definitely a thing