Some, if not most of us, had willfully or inadvertently disregarded the many benefits that brisk walking can do with respect to our health.
Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It’s safe, simple and doesn’t require practice. And the health benefits of brisk walking are many and essential.
Here’s more about why brisk walking, or simply walking, is good for you (source: http://www.google.com).
1: 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.
2: 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.
3: It saves you on gym costs. In this icky 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 to experience the benefits of walking, 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.
4: 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.
5: 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.
6: 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.
7: 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 stroke than those with the lowest fitness level.
8: 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.
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. And you can forget that “no pain, no gain” talk.
And what more; if you have a walk path like the one I have (below) brisk walking is not just an essential exercise; it is so much fun, easy and enjoyable. I have here a brisk walking paradise that I love to circumnavigate every morning at about 6 to 7 o’clock.
The house where we live is adjacent to this beautifully landscaped school playground. In fact, it is only the concrete hollow block fence that separates the house and the school. This two-hectare lot occupied by the school was donated by my father-in-law. There are two canteens inside the school premises; one is being operated and maintained by the school and the other one is owned by my wife’s family.
Anything you do in favor of your health is never too late. You can start your brisk walking program now and reap the benefits sooner than you may expect.