Written by: Anne Marie Fogarty, RGN
Walking Your Way to Good Health
Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Cardiovascular fitness, bone density, body fat percentage, and muscular strength and endurance may all be improved with regular walking.
Working out doesn’t have to be an ordeal. A daily brisk walk is a simple way to improve your health. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers are just some of the chronic illnesses that can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight. Walking, in contrast to several other types of exercise, does not require any preparation or cost anything.
Regular brisk walking has the following benefits:
• Maintain a healthy weight and decrease body fat.
• Manage or reduce your risk of developing serious health problems like cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
• Boost your cardiorespiratory fitness.
• Muscle up and fortify your skeleton.
• Strengthen your muscles’ capacity to endure fatigue.
• Boost your vitality.
• Enhance your disposition, mental faculties, memory, and nocturnal restful sleep.
• Work on your equilibrium and coordination.
• Intensify your resistance against illness.
• De-stress yourself.
Walking is brilliant to help us to connect with nature and listen to songbirds, running rivers, and trees rustling – We’re relaxed already! More and more research is pointing towards nature being a great mental health and wellness treatment. It’s all around us, free and really will cleanse the soul and free the mind. Get out and active and feel the stress lift away.
The advantages increase proportionally with the walker’s speed, distance, and frequency of walking. But always only go at the speed you are safe and comfortable with, and check with your GP or Physio should you have any medical issues. Aerobic exercise can help you burn calories, strengthen your heart, and boost your endurance.
Walking quickly can be followed by walking slowly, or vice versa. Interval training has several positive effects on health and fitness, including a greater caloric expenditure compared to simple walking. Furthermore, interval training may be completed in a fraction of the time required for a normal stroll.
Walking protects the joints – notably the knees and hips, which are most prone to osteoarthritis – by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them. It helps the immune system do its job better. During cold and flu season, being active might help you avoid becoming sick.
Walking is a fantastic low-impact workout option since it calls for no special gear and can be done at any time of day and at your own speed. Getting in some exercise and enjoying the outdoors doesn’t have to be restricted to solo strolls through the neighbourhood. We see more frequently walking groups out together in the day or evenings after work. This is a really great way to exercise for physical wellness but equally a great way to socialise, meet new people, combat loneliness and form lasting friendships, all beneficial to your mental health.
To gain health advantages, aim to walk briskly and regularly most days of the week. To be considered brisk, you must be able to carry on a conversation but not a song, and you may be somewhat out of breath. Moderate physical activity, such as walking, is generally safe, but anybody with a preexisting medical condition should talk to their doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. The greatest method to warm up is to walk gently. Each walk should begin slowly so that your muscles can warm up, and you should subsequently increase your speed. Afterwards, gently stretch your leg muscles – notably your calves and front and rear thighs. Stretch before you exercise, and remember to cool down after your walk. It’s important to listen to your body and stop stretching if it hurts.