Fitness trends come and go. It may be CrossFit, HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), Hot Yoga, or Body Pump. However, there is one form of exercise that is the most basic, yet an effective method to improve our health, and it is walking. Walking might be the most overlooked and taken-for-granted form of exercise. However, it is a no-nonsense and simple way to improve the general health of people no matter the age.
It is both a blessing and a curse that our life has become so convenient with the advancements of technology. Our lifestyle is becoming increasingly sedentary with the availability of many services such as delivery, daily commute, online shopping etc. This has led to the rise of ‘sedentary death syndrome’, which is a major public health issue that causes multiple chronic diseases each year. The cause? You guessed it- the lack of physical activity.
Defeating this nemesis requires very little from us. You can start by going on walks everyday. You do not have to participate in a marathon for you to improve your overall health. You just need to walk a little more than you normally would each day. Studies have shown that walking for a certain amount of time every day can do wonders to the body, mind, and spirit. Read on below to see how walking every day can positively affect your body, and how you can achieve that goal.
15 minutes per day
Great for beginners and people who want to be more active, walking 15 minutes a day is a great way to get our heart pumping and our muscles warmed up. Keeping the heart pumping harder keeps our cardiovascular system healthy and promotes oxygen flow throughout the body. A brisk 15-minute walk in the morning can help pump oxygen to our brains and give us a refreshing head start. However, there are other ways to get hit that 15-minute quota every day too (for us non-early birds). The simple act of parking our cars slightly further away from the mall entrance or choosing to walk up a few flights of stairs instead of taking the lift carries a similar effect.
30 minutes per day
Walking 30 minutes a day can bring more benefit to our body than just our cardiovascular system. The extended exercise time helps us increase our metabolism, which will help us reduce our body weight. Depending on your speed of walking, you might work out a sweat from half an hour of walking, which is a great form expelling toxins from our body! It also loosens stiff joints and muscles. By stimulating our joints and muscles, we can strengthen our muscles and diminish the progression of osteoarthritis. The muscles around our lower body such as our thigh, calf, and feet can also be strengthened to keep us fit and agile. For those of us who have trouble sleeping at night, walking half an hour a day is a great remedy as it improves blood circulation; moreover, the energy expenditure will promote a better night’s rest.
60 minutes per day
Walking one hour a day is highly encouraged by physicians around the world. Studies have shown that one hour of brisk walking a day can greatly reduce health risks caused by sitting all day, especially when done outdoors. Our immune system will get a boost from the toxin release and blood circulation, and we can increase the amount of vitamin D in our body by walking around in a park or garden. Besides that, one hour of walking can reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes and keep our body weight normal. A healthier body can improve our brain functions and keep our mind sharp. This greatly reduces the risk of dementia and other memory-problems in the elderly.
The road to a healthy life requires a paradigm shift and determination. Take charge of your life, and take the first step- you won’t regret it!