The Eight Benefits of Walking

Walking is one of the simplest forms of physical exercise, but it can provide amazing health benefits for people of all ages. The biggest advantage of walking is that it is free and can be easily incorporated into everyone’s daily life.

1. Weight loss

Walking can help burn calories, which in turn helps maintain or lose weight. In particular, a brisk 30-minute walk can burn up to 200 calories, which over time may result in weight loss. However, the number of calories burned depends on several factors, including:

  • Walking speed.
  • The distance traveled each time
  • Where it takes place (eg walking uphill helps burn more calories).
  • The weight of each person.

2. Cardiovascular system strengthening

Walking has been linked to preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, lowering blood pressure, improving blood circulation and generally strengthening the heart. According to studies, walking for at least 30 minutes five days a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by up to 19%. Increasing the duration or distance can also help reduce the risk of this even further.

3. Lowering blood sugar levels

A short walk after a meal, according to some small studies, can help lower blood sugar levels. However, more research is needed to confirm these beneficial effects.

4. Joint pain relief

Walking helps lubricate and strengthen the muscles that support the joints, especially the knees and hips, thus helping to protect them. But walking can also have benefits for people suffering from arthritis, as it helps reduce joint pain. In addition, walking 8-9 kilometers per week is thought to even help prevent arthritis.

5. Strengthening the immune system

Walking has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of catching colds and flu. Specifically, a study involving 1,000 people who walked for 30-45 minutes a day found that these people had 43% fewer respiratory infections than people who lived a sedentary life. Furthermore, even when these people did get sick, their symptoms were milder and lasted less.

6. Mood improvement

Walking has been shown to be beneficial for mental health, as during it endorphins are released in the body, which are responsible for improving mood. Studies have shown that walking can also help reduce anxiety, depression, negative emotions, and boost self-esteem.

7. Long life

According to studies, brisk walking (at least 6 kilometers per hour) can contribute to longevity and reduce the risk of death by up to 24%. People in their 50s and 60s who exercise regularly have also been shown to be 35% less likely to die in the next eight years than their non-exercising peers.

8. Muscle strengthening

Walking primarily tones the leg and abdominal muscles, which helps to strengthen and increase range of motion by shifting stress and weight from the joints to the muscles.

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