Walking is the most ordinary thing a human can do. Unless we have a physical impairment, we take this activity completely for granted. A French study suggests we should start paying more attention to the benefits of walking, especially as we age.
The Benefits of Walking
According to the study, walking has a significant positive impact on the health in people over 65. The study lasted for 12 years and showed that regular walks of 15 minutes can reduce the mortality rate by 22%. Longer and more frequent walks improved this number even further. One of the leading scientists on the study stated: “Age is not an excuse to do no exercise. It is well established that regular physical activity has a better overall effect on health than any medical treatment. But less than half of older adults achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes moderate intensity or 75 minutes vigorous intensity exercise each week.”
Of course, these results shouldn’t come as a surprise. As it’s so basic, walking has been taken for granted for a long time. Rarely anyone sees it as an aerobic exercise, and we all ignore the benefits of a simple walk. However, aerobic exercise describes an exercise that stimulates the heart and respiratory rate and pumps oxygen to the muscles, which is exactly what walking does.
- By increasing the intensity, more nutrients can get where they need to in the body. In this way, the body uses energy instead of storing it, which strengthens the muscles, organs and bones. The sedentary lifestyle we all lead today is the source of many diseases and conditions. The low levels of physical activity have caused major health problems for millions of people, and has been responsible for many premature deaths as well.
For All Walks of Life
One study from 2016 has shown that the lung capacity of obese children can be increased within 6 weeks if they walk for 45 minutes every day for 5 days a week. Walking fast increases the fitness level.
Walking outdoors can be very beneficial for the mental health. Spending time in the nature without electronic devices can be very helpful for reducing the everyday stress, for improving the overall mood and even for lowering depression.
Spending time in the sun is also very important because that way we get the required amounts of vitamin D. Walking inside on a treadmill can be just as beneficial as walking outdoors.
- A walk in the park
Walking regularly can significantly improve the mobility which then reduces the risk of injury. Walking is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from joint pain and arthritis.
The American Heart Association recommends walking in cases of: diabetes, stroke, hypertension and high cholesterol. You don’t have to walk for 30 minutes at once every day. You can walk twice for 15 minutes. Start slowly and then gradually increase the pace.
If you have trouble sleeping, taking a walk is also very beneficial.
7 countries conducted a study where the main subject were the benefits of walking. This study lasted for 11 years. They noticed the following results: decreased mortality risk by 32%, decrease in the appearance of cardiovascular diseases by 31%. You are going to prevent the most serious diseases by only walking 5.5 miles a week at 2 mph. We often choose not to go to the gym because of our busy lifestyle. However, we are all able to walk for 15 minutes. You are going to achieve incredible results by making walking a habit. Comfortable sneakers and 15 minutes of your time will be enough. Walk and you are going to improve your overall health.