Do you suffer from joint pain, heart problems, stress, depression, or obesity? Then, try walking to beat all your health problems. According to the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, walking helps reduce the risk of all chronic diseases. Doesn't matter if you are 8 or 80; In fact, most health professionals prefer walking over running as it is a low-impact exercise that goes easy on your heart and joints.
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved their fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and can be performed at your own pace. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is also a great form of physical activity for people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time. Walking for fun and fitness isn’t limited to strolling by yourself around local neighbourhood streets. There are various clubs, venues and strategies you can use to make walking an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle.
Health benefits of walking
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include:
• increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
• reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
• Decreased hypertension, high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain/stiffness, and diabetes
• stronger bones and improved balance
• increased muscle strength and endurance
• reduced body fat.
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