By: Adline A. Ghani
Is your lifestyle too hectic? No time or energy to exercise? Don’t want to be bogged down by expensive exercise equipment or a gym membership? Take heart, exercise doesn’t need to be that complicated!
There is a form of exercise that anyone can do, whether they’re 9 or 99. The best part? You don’t have to dedicate hours and hours of your day doing it. What is it? It’s WALKING!
Walking has long been known to banish sluggishness and revitalise the body and mind. So if you’ve been thinking about walking for fitness, here are 7 wonderful ways in which this form of exercise can help you live a healthier, more energetic life.
Wonder #1: Weight Management
Combined with a low fat, high-fiber diet, walking can be a fabulous way to maintain healthy body weight. Walking is great for everyone because it’s easy to do and doesn’t require any specialised equipment or training. On average, you can burn between 50 to 200 calories a mile depending on your weight and speed. Of course the more intense your walk, the more calories you’ll burn! So to trim fat, melt those thighs and perk up that behind, start walking!
Wonder #2: Disease Prevention
Besides trimming down your waistline and firming up your posterior, walking provides immense benefits in improving your overall physical health. Firstly, walking is great for cardiovascular fitness because it works your heart and lungs. Therefore, the more you walk, the stronger and more efficient your heart and lungs will be. Secondly, regular walking improves blood circulation which helps manage and even prevent conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Walking also increases the levels of good cholesterol in your blood.
Wonder #3: Improves Bone And Joint Strength
Walking is a low-impact exercise, which means that it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your bones, joints and tissues. Therefore, it is an easy and fast way for anyone to exercise without risk of injury. In addition, calcium combined with a gentle form of exercise like walking can help combat osteoporosis and gradually help build skeletal strength.
Wonder #4: Uplifts And Inspires
Did you know that walking can naturally help relieve stress and worry as well as give you a good night’s sleep? It does this by decreasing stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine while inducing relaxation hormones like beta-endorphins. This in turn helps relieve muscular tension, elevates your mood, eases mild depression and promotes feelings of happiness and a sense of well-being.
Wonder 5: Increases Flexibility And Endurance
As the saying goes, “You either use it, or lose it.” So if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and don’t put your body to work, you will eventually start losing your sense of balance, coordination, flexibility and endurance. Before you know it, you won’t be able to climb a flight of stairs without running out of breath! Walking is a good way to start building your body’s endurance level, which is the ability to do a physical activity for a long period without feeling excessively tired.
Wonder #6: Strengthens And Tones
Walking may seem like such a simple activity. After all, you’ve been doing it since you were a toddler! However, there’s really so much more to it than just getting from one place to another. Walking helps you gain muscular strength. As you walk, muscles in the back of your legs calves, hamstrings and gluteus get a good drilling. If you also swing your arms, the back of your shoulders get a good workout too. Coupled with stretching, walking is also a good warm up for other forms of exercises.
Wonder #7: Boosts Confidence
Walking not only energises you, but it can also motivate and empower you! Firstly, regular exercise helps you become physically fit and healthy thus boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem as your appearance improves. The overall benefits of walking, both physically and mentally, help you foster a more positive outlook on life and cope better with the many challenges that life throws at you.
Now that you know the many benefits of walking, you should aim to pound the pavement for at least 30 minutes each day. If you can’t commit to 30 minutes in one go, try three 10 minute sessions throughout your day instead. It’s important to remember that if you haven’t been exercising regularly, it’s best not to rush into a regime or push yourself too hard. It’s alright to start slow and then take it up a notch or two as you feel yourself getting stronger. So from here on out why not kickstart your day with a morning walk? Just grab that pedometer and go!