According to Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal, walking helps reduce the risk of all chronic diseases and is considered a ’wonder drug’ by many doctors and physicians. What makes walking the best form of exercise for your health is the fact that it goes easy on your heart and joints and therefore has a larger impact on your overall health. Strenuous exercise may have bigger and faster impacts on your body, but it can also cause harm on your joints and bones.
Bright Side has gathered a few health benefits that walking on a daily basis can bring to your body and mind.
1. Walking regulates blood pressure.
A Korean study that was performed by the Korea Institute of Sport Science in Seoul found that 40 minutes of walking daily reduced the levels of blood pressure in people with hypertension. Those who chose to walk these 40 minutes all at once saw a drop of 5 points in their blood pressure, while those who chose to take 4 separate 10-minute walks saw a drop of 3 points. The doctors who conducted the study say that it is important for everyone to make the choices that suit them better to get the results they want one way or another.
2. Walking fights breast cancer in women.
The American Cancer Society recommends all adults to get 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week. More specifically, its researchers have found that 7 hours of walking per week reduces the risk of breast cancer after menopause by 14%. The women who chose to walk more than 7 hours per week and in a faster mode had 25% less chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer. The study strongly suggests that there is a strong link between physical activity, particularly walking, and keeping breast cancer away.
3. Walking reduces the risk of diabetes.
A study that was published in 2012 suggests that walking 3,000-7,500 steps per day can be effective in treating or preventing type 2 diabetes. Also, the study advises people to take breaks in between long hours of sitting and to take small walks or do a few exercises that suit their body. In other words, walking reduces blood sugar levels, which are in charge of causing type 2 diabetes.
4. Walking helps produce vitamin D.
Scientists at the University of Western Ontario, after conducting a study over the span of 30 years, came to the conclusion that vitamin D is highly connected with brittle bones, fractures, and difficulty in walking. One effective way to get enough vitamin D is to walk 15-30 minutes a day while the sun is still out. This way, you create a strong shield against cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes — just don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
5. Walking increases creativity.
A study that was conducted by researchers from Stanford University found that the creativity of a person rises while they walk and for a short time after they finish. The environment didn’t play a role itself since walking both indoors and outdoors boosted creativity. Many people said that they come up with all of their best ideas when they are walking. Even Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs had meetings with their associates while taking a walk.
6. Walking boosts the immune system.
Researchers from the Appalachian State University in North Carolina found that a moderately-paced 30-45-minute walk on a daily basis is the best way to protect your body from common colds. The levels of immunity boosters were kept high for several hours after the exercise was completed. This effect proves to be protective of the human health over time and repetition.
7. Walking can curb sugar cravings.
A study that was conducted by the University of Exeter and published in the journal Appetite showed that short walks can curb your chocolate cravings and even reduce the amount of sweets you consume during stressful situations. Actually, the study showed that no matter the type of exercise, physical activity can help manage sweet cravings and the interesting thing is that stress doesn’t play a role in consuming larger amounts of chocolate or other sweets.
8. Walking slows down the aging process.
Findings from the longest running clinical trial on the link between walking and aging showed that walking is one of the most effective ways to avoid the loss of mobility, which is often followed by aging. Also, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario found that exercise not only keeps the skin tighter, but also reverses the aging process. The types of exercise that proved to be the most beneficial were walking and Tai-Chai as they both help avoid dementia.
Walking is a healthy and delightful hobby that can boost your health and mind in ways that you never imagined. You cannot expect miracles to happen in just one day, but you should be certain that its benefits will appear later in your life. Let us know in the comment section if walking on a daily basis has made your life better.