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7 Potential Health Benefits of Walking

walking

It is needless to say that walking offers various health benefits. These benefits range from heart health, and increased longevity to weight control. And, arguably, the most important benefit of this simple and effective exercise is to delay ageing and extend the lifespan.

The most important feature that distinguishes walking from other physical activities is both a 5-year-old child and a 70-year-old woman can do this sport unless they have a preventing health problem. Moreover, walking does not cost anything other than a pair of shoes. And, can be done anywhere/ anytime irrespective of fitness level.

This article evaluates the health benefits of walking, which is an underrated form of exercise compared to other kinds of exercises, with scientific studies. Keep reading to learn the proven health benefits of walking.

 

1-) Increases Longevity


First things first, walking regularly for at least 30 minutes at a moderate pace can significantly increase one’s life span. Conducted scientific studies at prestigious universities consolidate this claim.

It has been reported that people who have a regular walking routine need less of a doctor. The scientific report indicates that people who walk every day have a higher life expectancy.

Another scientific study conducted at Saarland University ( Germany ) speaks more specifically. The researchers found that walking for 25 minutes every day extends the human lifespan by 7 years.

 

2-) Burns Calorie


Appearance matters more than ever in this modern world where people see can each other any time of the day via various social media tools. For this reason, The sales of cosmetic products including hair and skin products boomed in the last 2 decades. For the same reason, a great number of people try to remain fit.

Walking may not be the best form of exercise in terms of building huge muscles. However, this kind of exercise definitely keeps us fit and holds the risk of injury at bay.

Even though how many calories a person burns while walking depends on the current weight and walking pace, walking every day for at least 20 to 30 minutes brings visible results to the body’s appearance.

 

3-) Protects the Heart


Provided that heart disease is the biggest killer in the U.S.A according to data, it is vital to protect heart health. According to experts, 30-minute walks are one of the most effective methods along with a suitable diet to protect heart health.

What is more, walking is arguably the simplest form of exercise that people from all age groups can carry out to stay active. Therefore, experts strictly recommended people especially older than 40 to take walks as much as possible.

A well rounded scientific study suggests that 30-minute long walking 5 days in a week can decrease the chance of getting coronary heart disease by 20 per cent.

 

4- Reduces Stress 


Even though eliminating stress for good is a far-fetched expectation, individuals can significantly reduce stress levels with some modifications in their lifestyle.

The good news is, just as other physical activities, walking too can help people feel happy. While walking human body releases the chemicals known as endorphins which are the natural painkillers and mood boosters.

Scientific research proves that 10-minute of brisk walking is equally effective with meditation practices in terms of uplifting the mood state. In the same study, researchers found that meditation and walking may be the two most effective strategies to feel good and happy.

Plus, many people may improve their acid reflux symptoms by simply walking, as walking reduces stress that is claimed to trigger heartburn.

 

5- Improves Sleep


Walking increases sleep quality

This one goes hand in hand with the previous section. Because the main topic of the previous section was the reduction of the stress level thanks to walking. Naturally, those who go to bed stress-free sleep better than those who have worries in mind.

Apart from the fact that walking reduces stress levels, thus, increasing sleep quality; studies indicate the fact that those who have walking habits suffer from fewer sleep problems compared to those who prefer sedentary life.

A thorough scientific report on sleep quality suggests that being active ( walking or other forms of exercise ) increases sleep quality while doesn’t affect sleep duration.

 

6- Strengthens the Immune System


Quite briefly, for those who don’t know, the immune system protects the human body against infections and diseases. Therefore, keeping this vital defence mechanism solid help defeat and overcome illnesses such as flu, common cold and even Covid-19.

The secret that regular brisk walking and other healthy exercises strengthen the immune system is hidden in the fact that these physical activities increase the circulation and production of white blood cells which are the cells of the immune system.

According to a report published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine; people who engaged in regular aerobic activity including brisk walking experienced 43 per cent fewer upper respiratory tract infections.

 

7- Decreases Alzheimer’s Risk


Despite the advancement in medicine, there are some illnesses and diseases, that science hasn’t been able to find the cure for like HIV/AIDS, and diabetes. Alzheimer’s disease — which can be defined as the weakening of mental functions such as forgetfulness or degenerating of brain cells — is not an exception in this sense. But there are some ways to prevent or at least delay the disease, and one of these methods is exercise. 

According to Dr Jay Van Gerpen daily walks help individuals, particularly older individuals, prevent brain diseases including tremors, Alzheimer’s and dementia. Furthermore, studies suggest that brisk walking on a regular basis in the fresh air may strengthen memory capacity.