Why Walking Is Good For You – Both For Your Body and Your Mind!
Walking is good for you – it’s a great way to strengthen and tone the legs, butt and stomach and can also help you to lose both inches and pounds.
Not only that but it is the perfect simple way to clear your mind of all the clutter, to de-stress and just take time to appreciate the beauty of life around us…
“Walking is a man’s best medicine” – Hippocrates
Walking doesn’t require any expensive equipment though I would recommend you do have a decent pair of comfy trainers that have proper arch support and will cushion your feet properly therefore are shock absorbing. I also like to a have my music player so I can’t listen to some tunes to motivate me to keep going and be in my own little world on my walks.
The hardest part about walking is actually getting the motivation to get out there and taking those first steps. Once you’ve start walking whilst having a decent song playing on your personal music player motivating you to actually get moving, just breathe in the air and open your eyes to every little thing around you. Look at the sky and the nature around you or the people going about their lives. However much of a crappy week I’ve been having I can’t help but to feel good when I take a brisk walk and open my eyes to see what the world is doing.
Major Health Benefits
Walking has many health benefits it can cut your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease as well as other cardiovascular problems. The American Diabetes Association has said that walking is a great way to reduce risk of type 2 diabetes and a study by Massachusetts medical school found that people who walked had 25% fewer colds.
There have also been many studies that have shown that regular moderate exercise such as brisk walking can reduce the risk of breast cancer appearing and recurring in women.
Bones and Muscles
Walking strengthens both your muscles and bones and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It is also a great way to improve your overall co-ordination and balance.
Speed walking is a great way to tone up the legs, burn belly fat and can also help shave off inches around the waist and thighs. Having a sedentary job where you are sitting all day can cause your butt muscles to shrink, yet walking can help reactivate them again.
Fitness calculators estimate you burn 150-200 calories by doing a brisk thirty minute walk, not a great amount but every little bit helps if you are trying to lose weight.
Walking can drastically improve your mood and can also help fight stress, plus walking 30 minutes at least three times a week is said to be a good way to manage stress related headaches. Research has shown that brisk walking activates soothing neurons in the brain and these neurons help dull the feelings of stress, anxiety and even depression.
Feel lethargic, fed up and lacking in motivation to do anything positive or just despair that your life is going nowhere fast – Start walking! A group of psychologists at Illinois University found that even if you only walk for 20 minutes a day for six weeks the benefits could be comparable to a course of psychotherapy.
Walking enhances well being and slows down the ageing process, no matter age you start walking and can help delay dementia.
It also yields great cognitive benefits such as improving memory and creative thinking. Therefore just taking a walk is the perfect opportunity to take time to think, work through problems and come up with solutions.
Love that feeling of walking barefoot on the sand, well here’s another reason to do it whenever you can. Scientific studies have shown that walking barefoot on the beach or on grass lets you absorb the earth’s free electrons which have a powerful antioxidant effect and can help protect your body from inflammation.
When to Walk
I find first thing in the morning is the perfect time of day to start off with a stroll listening to a great tune, there are a few people around going about their early morning chores and it’s a great way to start the morning by acknowledging them with a smile. Once my heart rate has risen slightly and the blood has started flowing through my body I can pick up the pace and do some speed walking. I always try to get in some inclines and declines on my walks as well to get my butt muscles really working.
So, if you don’t already walk then just start with small goals like 10 minutes at lunch-time, once that becomes a habit then make it a bit harder by doing 20 minutes, gradually building up to 30.
Start off with a slow walk making sure you keep your back straight and stomach muscles slightly tightened. Keep your head up so you are looking forward not at your feet and relax your neck and shoulders, then just swing your arms gently with your elbows bent. After 10 minutes of slow walking you can pick up the pace and pump your arms if you want to increase resistance. As you come to the end of your walk slow down again and then afterwards make sure you do a bit of stretching out of all the muscles you have used.
It is recommended that you walk 10,000 steps or more per day so wearing a Pedometer or Fitness Tracker is a great way to keep track of how far you have walked and motivate you to try to do more the next time you step out.
If you happen to miss a few days due to other commitments, then just like with any other fitness training remind yourself how good you felt after the last session…
So take the time to get on your trainers and take a walk to enjoy the scenery today, you’ll feel better for it…
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