Walking Health Benefits

Walking Health Benefits
Health professionals know that walking is a good form of exercise that offers numerous health benefits. Anyone, excluding those with contradicting health conditions, can benefit from regular walking. Walking with a friend in the beautiful outdoors makes the activity an enjoyable one, instead of a dreaded form of exercise. So grab a friend, put on a pair of good walking shoes and get to walking. Don't forget to take time to look around at the wonders of nature.

Heart

Walking is good for your heart. Regular walking reduces your chance of getting heart disease. Walking strengthens the heart and increases blood flow. A stronger heart reduces the likelihood of a heart attack. Increased blood flow decreases pressure on the arteries, reducing the likelihood of high blood pressure. A study conducted by Harvard showed that walking three hours a week at a moderate pace reduced heart disease risk by up to forty percent. Walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week--or walking for one hour per day, three times a week--fulfills the three hour per week requirement of the Harvard study.

Lungs

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, regular, brisk 30-minute walks increase lung capacity. This also strengthens the lungs. With increased lung capacity, you will breathe easier, and your lungs will stay healthier longer.

Bones

Walking is a low impact weight bearing activity that is easy on the knees. Weight bearing activities increase bone mass, helping to prevent osteoporosis and helping to prevent further damage from osteoporosis. Because walking is easier on the knees than running, it is a good choice of exercise for everyone--including people with bad knees. Of course, you should always consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

Weight Loss

Lose weight by participating in regular walks. Obesity makes a person more prone to heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A person burns an average of 132 calories walking at moderate pace for 30 minutes or 183 calories walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes. An added reward from regular walking is that it strengthens and tones leg muscles.

Well Being

Walking increases blood flow in the body reducing back and joint pain. The increased blood flow to the brain enhances emotional well being and reduces stress levels. Scientific studies show that exercise, including walking, may increase serotonin levels in the brain, reducing depression symptoms. (Nicoloff & Schwenk, 1995). Walking also helps a person to sleep better at night. A restful sleep is helpful for reducing anxiety, depression and stress.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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