16

Does Walking For Health And Fitness Really Work?

 

Walking-at-sunset

Just put one foot in front of the other and away you go ….. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, brisk walking has the potential to build your stamina and make your heart healthier. Walking for health and fitness comes with hidden benefits often ignored and or under-estimated.

Walking is by far one of the easiest ways to get more active and healthier. It is more than just a great way to get around, it is an easy way to improve and maintain your overall health. You do not need to walk for hours, 30 minutes or more of brisk walking, on most days of the week, can maintain overall health.

Walking for health and fitness is low impact, is ideal for people of all age group and can be carried out at any time of the day at your very own pace. It is worth mentioning that, you need to seek medical advice prior to taking up a new fitness regime, especially if recovering from a recent injury, haven’t exercised in a long time, aged over 40 years or overweight.

Before Stepping Out…

  • Ensure you are warmed up. Avoid setting off at a fast past without a proper warm-up as this reduces the risk of getting injured. The ideal way to warm up is to start walking slowly or leisurely and then pick up the pace when the muscles are nicely warmed up.
  • Ensure your trainers are comfortable. Appropriate footwear is essential in providing support. This avoids blisters and shin splints.
  • Ensure you have appropriate clothing. It is good practice to check the weather forecast before setting off. Your clothing should be appropriate for the day’s weather. You may want to invest in a waterproof jacket for the wet days. For the sunny days, you may want to have sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat to avoid sunburn.
  • Ensure you are well hydrated. Take water with you in order to stay hydrated throughout the duration of the walk.
  • Ensure you stay safe. Stay safe by choosing walks that suit your age, ability and fitness level. Also, look out for hazards by staying off cliff edges.

Walking-shoes

Benefits Of Walking For Health And Fitness

A weight-bearing exercise like walking has countless health benefits. A physical activity does not have to be carried out vigorously in order to improve and maintain health. You can easily get out for a walk without stressing or worrying about risks associated with some forms of vigorous exercise regimes. Some benefits associated with walking for health and fitness are listed below for your reading pleasure:

  • Walking reduces blood pressure. Regular walking helps to keep the ‘silent killer’, high blood pressure, at bay. An increased amount of oxygen to the muscles is ideal for relaxing blood vessels. This can be achieved by regular walking, thereby lowering blood pressure.
  • Walking can help to burn fat and lose weight. Regular walking at a brisk pace, can help the body to get rid of stored fat. This helps to maintain a healthy body weight by getting rid of excess body fat.
  • Walking improves and maintains heart health. Making regular brisk walking a habit improves cardiovascular fitness. This habit lowers the risk of developing heart disease. Some studies also show that regular walking also helps people who have suffered heart attacks to recover faster.
  • Walking can help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, makes up most of our body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL exposes us to heart disease and stroke. A simple walk within the neighbourhood has the potential to burn a lot of calories from our bodies. This helps to reduce LDL and increase good cholesterol, also known as HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein).
  • Walking Promotes bone health and posture. The body’s bone loss can be slowed down through regular walking. Walking has the tendency to increase bone density. The legs, spine and hips benefit a lot from regular walking. This promotes stronger bones, improved posture and balance.
  • Walking increases muscles strength and stamina. Developing a habit of walking regularly helps to improve your stamina and muscle strength. This also has the tendency to tone up your body by giving great definition to your hamstrings, calves and quads.
  • Walking kills stress and improves sleep. Your mental well-being can be improved by staying active through regular walking. Walking kills stress and boosts your daytime energy. This promotes a deep, sound and longer sleep at night.
  • Walking can improve sexual health. Your performance between the sheets can be improved by staying active through daily brisk walking. Good blood circulation is vital for sexual performance…….walking can help with this!

Walking-couple

Make Walking A Habit

For someone who is not always active or just starting to adopt walking as part of your daily routine, walking for 30 minutes can sometimes be a challenge. There is no need to be discouraged……you can start with smaller walking sessions throughout the day and increase the duration as your fitness improves. Regular physical activity built into a healthy daily lifestyle is an effective way to promote weight loss and maintain a healthy body weight.

Making walking a habit is the way to go and it is easier than you can ever imagine. Ways to include walking into your daily routine include:

  • Leaving your car behind for short journeys like going to the local shop or walking the kids to and from school.
  • Using the staircase instead of the lift.
  • Going for regular strolls with family or friends.
  • Walking part of your journey to work or home. You can decide to get off public transport a stop earlier and continuing the rest of the journey on foot.
  • Walk your dog or the neighbour’s.
  • You can also decide to take a stroll after dinner with friends or family.

Walking-dog

Make It Fun!

You just need to relax and enjoy walking. Listen to some music whiles out on a walk…… time really does fly when you are walking to your favourite music. Listening to music also takes your mind off the effort.

Mix up your walks as there are also interesting walks within towns and cities. Don’t just stick to the countryside. As they say, variety is the spice of life!

Walking-with-kid

Just let yourself go and enjoy your walk to the fullest!

Please follow and like us:

Daniel

16 Comments

  1. Thank you for reminding me how good walking is for me. I try to walk for 30 minutes at least 3 days a week. I try to do more, but life gets in the way. Also, I do a lot of walking around my yard. I do agree with you that when you start walking and make it a habit it does give you more stamina. Walking makes me to feel good physically and I try to start my day with a good walk to energize my day. Do you think it’s a good idea to walk a good brisk walk every day and what is the minimum you can do for it to still be beneficial to you?

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my article. Walking around your yard daily can still do the job.
      A minimum of 30 minutes is ideal for the body but you can start with 10 to 20 minutes brisk walk should you not be able to last 30 minutes.
      A gradual build up is very essential.

  2. At the age of 52, 53 in a few months. I try to stay as active as possible, not only for my career as a firefighter but to set an example for the kids I work with. I have realized over the past 2 – 3 years how important it is to remain active.

    I walk 3 – 4 time a week for up to about 4 miles, sometimes with my dog. Walking with a dog gives you a great sense for keeping in pace. Most dogs once trained will maintain a specific pace. This is a great way to get started as well. Plus it gets you out every day. They need exercise as much as we do.

    So at the age of 52, I do not take medications. I have been getting a physical every year since turning 45. Yes, I should have done it sooner. But a divorce set me into depression and I requested a medication to help. In the long run, the medication was a waste which a regular active lifestyle change made a difference.

    I also find walking puts less stress on my knees and hips. I personally love walking in the wood on trails. It’s a great way to just get aware of everyday life for just a short time.

    • Hi Ken, I am glad you liked my blogpost. I honestly like your suggestion on walking with a dog and sticking to a steady pace. Other readers will find such a suggestion very helpful. Thanks a lot for that.

      At your age, it is really impressive to hear you are staying active. Walking for 3-4 miles a week is really a great routine. Well done and please keep it up! Such an active lifestyle has endless health benefits. Thank you!

  3. Hey Daniel,

    Great post! I am a walker and runner, swimmer and African drummer haha! I like doing it all.We recently walked the Camino over in Spain. Wow what an experience! Walk between 10 and 25 k a day was amazing. Such a beautiful spot. I love how you say to make it fun and a habit. 100% agree!

    Thanks for a really cool post,

    Kev

    • It feels great knowing you enjoyed reading my post, kev. Thanks for taking the time read it. Walking, running, swimming and drumming…..wow, you really are active. What else don’t you do? I really envy your walk in spain, covering a distance of 10 and 25k is an achievement you should be really proud of. Well done to you.

      Walking can be fun and should be enjoyed by all!!

  4. Hey there!
    That was a very insightful read.
    Being a passionate hiker and a fitness maniac myself, I know the benefits of walking. It’s awesome for the body, mind, and soul.
    I try to walk in nature every weekend to stay in shape and to clear my mind!

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    • You are very welcome, Asen. Glad you found my post insightful. Walking in nature is a fantastic idea.
      Guess am not the only fitness maniac here….please keep it up!
      Sharing such insightful and useful information has always been a pleasure of mine.
      Thanks for the read.

  5. Hi Daniel, Thank you for this great post. I have been wanting to begin walking for exercise again and this is just what I needed to read today. You have given great tips, especially about warming up first and also starting slowly and getting the go-ahead from the doc. Also feel, if you have been sick recently, begin slowly.

    • Exactly, Jill! It is advisable you begin slowly if you are recovering from a recent injury. Start slow and increase the pace and duration later on once your fitness improves.

      I should rather be thanking you for taking time to read my blogpost. Glad to know you’ve decided to give walking as an exercise a go.
      You’ll surely not regret it. I am happy you found this post very useful. Thank you.

  6. I think morning walks are great for mental health, kind of gives you time to just ponder. Or with your significant other, my girlfriend and I go on walks sometimes in the morning and it’s quite nice. We live close to the downtown area in our city, it’s relaxing.

    • Hello Nate. Thanks a lot for the comment.
      I absolutely agree with you on the effects of morning walks to mental health. It is very refreshing and de-stressing.
      Thanks for taking time to read my post.

  7. Daniel, thanks for sharing some great tips and advice. I totally agree that something as simple as regular walking that gets the heart pumping and some cardiovascular benefit, as well as so many other physical and mental benefits. Personally, I prefer to walk rather than run as I find running is too much loading through the joints, and i am always trying to get my kids out with me as well !
    Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hi Mark, am glad you found my article helpful. Sharing such insightful info is always a pleasure. Trust me, there are others out there who prefer walking to running, you are not alone on this. Thank you very much for the comment!

  8. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about walking for health and wellness and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    • Hi Ali. I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blogpost and also leaving such a comment. As I always say, sharing informative and helpful health tips is always a pleasure of mine. Thanks for visiting my website and am glad you found my article a good and enjoyable read.

      I am also happy you’ve decided to re-visit my website…..am confident you won’t regret it. There are more insightful posts ahead……watch this space!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *