Six Benefits of Going for a Walk
Going for a walk is a natural part of springtime. We want to get outside to enjoy the fresh air, enjoy the flowers, and move. Walking is a simple activity that almost everyone can do from a small child to those in their golden years. It can be a great way to pass time and has some amazing health benefits. Here are six benefits of going for a walk.
Boosts Your Mood
Going for a stroll will help boost your mood. When we think about being outside in the sun and smelling the scents of spring, it brings a smile to our face. We are also getting our daily dose of vitamin D during sunlight exposure. Likewise, when we exercise, our body generates endorphins. Endorphins have a positive impact on the feeling of happiness. This will result in a better mood after going for a walk. A walk can also be done as a social activity; this will allow you to enjoy exercise and time with friends or family. The result is an uplifted mood.
Increases Your Physical Fitness
Walking provides repetitive loading to the bones, joints, and muscles. The impact of walking causes compression to the cartilage surrounding a joint. Cartilage has no direct blood supply so this compression supplies nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. The repetitive loading also helps protect you from the effects of osteoporosis. It also helps stop the progress of osteoporosis. In post-menopausal women, a 30-minute walk per day reduces your risk of hip fracture by 40%. Going for a walk can build strength and endurance for the muscles of your legs and core. If you pump your arms during walking, it will also build the muscles of your arms. Walking at a brisk pace can help to increase your heart rate and increase respiration rate increasing your cardiovascular fitness.
Helps to Ease Joint Pain
Our joints like to move. In fact, motion is lotion for the joints. Walking lubricates the joints and strengthens the surrounding muscles providing structure and stability. This leads to the feeling of less stiffness and better mobility. Walking has been shown to result in reduced arthritis-related joint pain. Going for regular walks can also aid in the prevention of arthritis especially in the knees and hips. These benefits are seen with 5-6 miles of walking per week.
Helps Maintain A Healthy Weight
Any type of physical fitness works to burn calories, helping us to lose or maintain weight. A brisk walk can burn 200 calories per hour. Walking also has the advantage of counteracting the effects of weight promoting genes. These genes are the ones responsible for the promotion of obesity. Their effects are reduced by half in those who walk briskly for a minimum of an hour per day. A walk each day can also help tame your sweet tooth. A study conducted at the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb chocolate cravings or reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in a stressful situation. Walking has also been shown to reduce cravings and subsequent intake of sugary snacks.
Helps Prevent or Manage Certain Health Conditions
Walking has been shown to have beneficial effects on various health conditions in both prevention and management. The American Cancer Society found that women who walk seven or more hours per week have a 14% lower chance of developing breast cancer than those who walked less than three hours per week. These benefits were shown in people with and without risk factors such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones. Walking is also beneficial in the management and prevention of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Helps Maintain Your Independence
The number one key to living a healthy and full life is to maintain our independence. With a loss of independence, it becomes difficult to perform the tasks required to take care of yourself such as getting dressed, showering, etc. Walking helps maintain your health keeping you independent and able to move throughout your life.
Taking a walk each day provides numerous health benefits from allowing you to move and complete the activities of your daily life, to the prevention of disease. Good health is a requirement to keep your independence and age well. Walking can be a key portion of your fitness routine and in addition to healthy eating and taking care of your body with chiropractic care and massage therapy will help you to live your best life. Get outside and go for a walk!