10 Benefits of Walking
One of the most popular forms of exercise in the world is walking. Almost everyone is familiar with the goal of 10,000 steps per day and almost everyone knows that going for a regular walk can be great for your overall health, but how many people are familiar with why walking can be so beneficial for your health. Here are 10 reasons why walking is great for your health and why you should start making it a part of your day.
1 – Walking improves joint mobility
Motion is Lotion is a great way to think about walking. Walking is a low impact exercise which means there is less stress on your hips, knees and ankles. This motion helps lubricate your joints reducing stiffness, pain and helps to increase range of motion.
2 – Walking increases circulation
Improving circulation increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients to your organs, muscles joints and brain. This increase in circulation will improve your energy levels, make you feel more alert and give you a pep in your step.
3 – Walking improves blood pressure and cardiovascular health
Regular exercise can help to reduce blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health by improving the hearts efficiency and strength. The stronger and more efficient your heart is, the easier it is to pump blood, oxygen and nutrients around the body. This reduction in stress on the heart helps to improve your hearts longevity!
4 – Walking improves blood glucose levels for those with Diabetes
In order to move throughout your day, insulin transports glucose from your blood to your muscles to be used as energy. Over time, if you make regular exercise and healthy diet a habit, your body will improve the efficiency of your insulin helping to reduce your blood glucose levels.
5 – Walking reduces inflammation
Just 20-30mins of walking has been found to reduce the inflammation makers in you blood by 5 percent. Walking can also help to reduce swelling using muscle contractions. Every time a muscle contracts it pushes fluid through your lymphatic system to be filtered out of the body.
6 – Walking reduces stress
Regular exercise such as walking can boost endorphins and reduce stress hormones. This helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, while helping you feel more relaxed and content.
7 – Walking improves lower limb strength and endurance
By walking regularly, the muscles of your lower limbs and even abdominals get stronger and more resistant to fatigue. This increase in muscular strength helps to decrease the load on your joints by making it easier to perform activities of daily living.
8 – Walking improves sleep
Exercise can improve your sleep by burning more energy during the day and having a boost of endorphins to help you feel more relaxed. This will also improve the effect of sleep hormones such as melatonin, helping you fall asleep faster and improving the overall quality of your sleep.
9 – Walking improves pain management
‘Exercise is Medicine’ for those suffering with chronic pain. It can be daunting to exercise when dealing with pain, however, sometimes light cardiovascular exercise can be just what you need. Find a time in the day that you feel your best. This might be mid-morning or early afternoon when your muscles and joints feel mobile or when the effects of your medication is at its peak. When exercising with chronic pain, ensure that if pain levels do increase more than 2 points above baseline on a scale of 0-10 you stop, modify the activity to reduce pain and seek professional advice from a Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist.
10 – Walking improves quality of life
All of the reasons above help to improve your overall health, fitness and quality of life. Regular exercise, regardless of the modality, will make you feel better, improve energy levels, improve your self-esteem and give you the pep in your step that you need to enjoy a longer and healthier life.
If you are experiencing any niggling injuries or would like some advice on the best exercise for you, call Up & Active Physiotherapy on 0746131394 to book an appointment to see one of the highly experienced team of Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists today.