A healthier heart, more energy, a longer life, and more.

Walking is good for your health, quite simply. Walking impacts multiple body systems and therefore provides many benefits. Despite its low impact, walking is considered a moderate-intensity aerobic activity. If you practice it at a pace that you can still speak but would find it difficult to sing, that means it works your cardiovascular system.

Try walking at a pace that gets your heart rate up a bit. You should be a little out of breath but not completely out of breath. Use the “talk test” described above. This is a good indicator that the walk you are doing is improving your cardiovascular fitness. Aim for 150 minutes of this type of walking per week, spread over several days (not all at once). It is also possible to break the exercise into smaller chunks throughout the day. For example, you can take three 10-minute walks a day. In addition to being an aerobic exercise, walking strengthens your leg muscles, as well as your core, which has the function of keeping you straight when you walk.

Although walking is a great workout for the whole body, it’s important to take rest days. Don’t do strenuous walking exercises more than five days a week to reduce the risk of injury. However, rest days do not mean that you have to be completely sedentary. There is no harm in taking light or moderate intensity walking every day, because taking steps every day is beneficial to your health.

Here are 5 positive effects of walking that improve your health from head to toe

1. Walking can extend your life

Walking can take you into your golden years. In a study of over 2,000 adults, those who took at least 7,000 steps per day had a 50-70% lower risk of death from all causes at the end of the 11-year study period. compared to those who took fewer steps, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open in 2021. The researchers controlled for several behavioral and lifestyle factors, including age, smoking history, body weight, alcohol consumption and diet, as well as health markers like cholesterol level, fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, taking certain medications, etc. Physical activity has beneficial effects on almost all parts of the body, such as the brain, muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, kidneys and lungs. And walking is a great way to practice this activity. Walking more can help prevent many chronic diseases that lead to early death. There is no single drug that does what physical activity, such as walking, can do.

2. Walking can build bone strength

Walking is a weight-bearing exercise (meaning you perform it standing up with your bones supporting your weight), so it can help maintain bone health and potentially reduce the risk of osteoporosis. What’s more, walking also improves core strength, which increases stabilization and balance to help prevent falls as you age. In particular, walking can improve the strength of your leg bones and spine. Start with a brisk 10-minute walk three times a day. For the best bone-wise results, try combining walking with a strength-training program.

3. Walking lifts your spirits

When you’re feeling down, go for a walk. It works and you don’t even have to take a long walk. In a study published in the journal Health Promotion Perspectives in 2018, young adults who performed a 10-minute brisk walking session saw their mood improve. Especially when it comes to feelings of fatigue, compared to a control group that was instructed to just sit still. Getting up and moving helps get rid of feelings of lack of energy, which can contribute to a general feeling of depression. Previous research by the same authors found that even five minutes of walking helped improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.

4. Walking is good for weight loss

If you’re into weight loss, know that you don’t have to participate in an intense exercise program (unless, of course, if that’s the type of workout you prefer). In a study of adults whose weight was considered overweight or obese, those who followed a calorie-restricted diet and walked for 2.5 hours per week for 12 weeks reduced their insulin levels to fasting and experienced greater fat loss, compared to calorie restriction alone, according to research published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2017. (Both groups also lost about 8% of their body weight, meaning that ‘they both lost the same amount of weight, but those who added walking to a calorie restricted diet lost more fat, which is the type of weight you want to lose, rather than losing weight due to decrease in muscle mass).

5. Walking Promotes Heart Health

Regular walking works your heart, including lowering your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease, and a 10% decrease in total cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease by almost a third. Walking can help you achieve this. In a meta-analysis of 21 studies of overweight or obese women, walking for at least four weeks (without other intentional behavioral changes) lowered total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol ) of approximately 7 mg/dL. Additionally, a 2021 Cochrane review of 73 trials concluded that walking can also help lower blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease, if done three to five times a week for 20 to 40 minutes. each time, over a period of three months.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.