Walk outside, breath the fresh air, soak up the sunshine and if it is cold and rainy use the treadmill or go shopping. Add some barbells and do some arm exercises while you walk to also strengthen your upper body. Don’t procrastinate, just do it! But most of all have fun and enjoy the long lasting benefits of good health and well being. So start walking!
Walking just 40 minutes a day could seriously benefit your health. Check out these amazing perks to taking a simple stroll around the neighborhood.
Walking is known to melt your thighs and perk up your bum. But its healthy resumé boasts some even more impressive accomplishments.
Here are eight reasons to take those extra steps and make walking a part of your healthy lifestyle:
- It deflects diabetes. New research links brisk walking to a significant risk reduction for developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is a predictor of this disease, even in people with normal glucose levels. But a recent British study found that people with a family history of the disease who walked briskly, or performed some other type of moderate to vigorous activity on a routine basis, improved insulin sensitivity.
- It soups up your sex life. Sex and exercise go hand-in-hand. In a study of women between 45 and 55 years old, those who exercised, including brisk walking, reported not only greater sexual desire, but better sexual satisfaction, too.
- It saves you on gym costs. In this economy, people are cutting excesses, and that includes trips to the health club. In an American Heart Association survey, a quarter of the 1,000 people questioned had axed their gym memberships sometime in the previous six months. But no matter where you live, there’s a place you can pound the pavement or trek a trail, and 150 minutes of moderate-intensity walking a week can help manage stress and prevent heart disease. Moderate walking equals an average of about 100 steps per minute. San Diego State University researchers suggest using a pedometer and aiming for 1,000 steps in 10 minutes, and working up to 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.
- It can get you off meds. Using data from the National Walkers’ Health Study, including more than 32,000 women and 8,000 men, researchers found that those who took the longest weekly walks, not necessarily accumulated the most mileage per week, were more likely to use less medication. This shouldn’t deter you from taking shorter walks more frequently throughout the week, but you should consider squeezing in a longer walk once a week, perhaps on the weekend when you have more spare time.
- It can help fade fibromyalgia pain. This chronic condition affects more than 4 percent of the population, and often involves pain, fatigue and brain fog. A small study found that in women 32 to 70 years old, those who walked 60 minutes, performed light exercises, and stretched three times a week for 18 weeks reported significant improvements in walking and mental capacity, and were less tired and depressed.
- It helps you beat breast cancer. Women who walk regularly after being diagnosed with breast cancer have a 45 percent greater chance of survival than those who are inactive, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Yale researchers heading up the study also found that those who exercised in the year before being diagnosed were 30 percent more likely to survive, compared to women who didn’t exercise leading up to their diagnosis.
- Strolling reduces stroke risk. Walking briskly for just 30 minutes, five days a week can significantly lower your risk of suffering a stroke, according to University of South Carolina researchers. After studying 46,000 men and 15,000 women over the course of 18 years, those with increased fitness levels associated with regular brisk walking had a 40 percent lower risk of suffering a stoke than those with the lowest fitness level.
- It can save your mind. Italian researchers enlisted 749 people suffering from memory problems in a study and measured their walking and other moderate activities, such as yard work. At the four-year follow-up, they found that those who expended the most energy walking had a 27 percent lower risk of developing dementia than the people who expended the least. This could be the result of physical activity’s role in increasing blood flow to the brain.
Start with 10 minutes a day and slowly add 5 minutes every few days building up to the suggested 30 minutes a day at least five days a week. If you can increase your walk to 45 or 60 minutes daily and for six or seven days a week, that is even better.
Note: Running and jogging can be OK but are not usually recommended by cardiologists. Research has shown that sudden exercise can lead to heart attacks. Alternatives would be aerobics, cycling, dancing, swimming, or elliptical. What I am looking for is 30 minutes of cardiodaily. Always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.