“Walking is man’s best medicine.” — Hippocrates
Walking is the most effective exercise regime and healthy form of physical activity.
Walking, if you do it vigorously enough, (like hiking or brisk walking in nature), is the overall best exercise for regular aerobic activity. Walking can reduce stress, boost energy, burn calories, lower blood pressure, raise HDL (good cholesterol) and reduce the risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.
Health Benefits of Walking
1. Walking is great for the heart.
Walking for 30 minutes every day lowers your odds for developing metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors linked to higher risks of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
2. Walking is wonderful for keeping you slimmer.
Walking for 30 minutes a day can prevent weight gain in most people who are physically inactive.
3. Walking protects your bones.
Just 30 minutes of walking three times a week does wonders to prevent and treat thinning bones.
4. Walking staves off senior moments.
Regular strolls are also linked to mental sharpness in seniors. Walking is likely to help keep your mind active.
5. Walking helps you sleep.
Walking may boost levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin.
6. Walking makes you happy.
By helping the body produce endorphins, walking can relieve depression, anxiety and neutralize the effect of stress on your body.
7. Walking can make you smarter.
Scientists have found that vigorous exercise can cause nerve cells to form dense, interconnected webs that make the brain run faster and more efficiently. No matter your age, it seems, a strong, active body is crucial for building a strong, active mind.
The process starts in the muscles. Every time a bicep or quad contracts and releases ,it sends out chemicals, including a protein called IGF-1, that travels through the bloodstream, across the blood-brain barrier and into the brain itself. There, IGF-1 takes on a role of foreman in the body’s neurotransmitter factory. It issues orders to ramp up production of several chemicals, including one called brain-derived neurotropic factor, or BDNF. It fuels almost all of the activities that lead to higher thought.
Can walking make you happy? Can it help you deal with life stress? Can it help you work thorough relationship problems? Can it lead to a deeper spiritual and religious life? For many, the answer is yes.
It is your choice to commit to walk for your health only thirty minutes a day. Don’t wait until you develop a health problem, you will be spending more than 30 minutes a day on drugs, surgery and recovery, treatments, getting the medical bills paid, going to appointments, and making your final arrangements. Instead, spend those 30 minutes a day beforehand in an exercise you enjoy.