Walking, “A very simple task. Is it even considered exercise? Can one gain any benefits from it?” Many times we hear such statements, that walking is not even considered a proper exercise. People often understate the need for and the benefits of walking. Let’s look at what brisk walking can do for you.
Walking, be it slow, brisk, or fast, can be highly beneficial if done regularly. Especially when included with other strategies such as eating a balanced diet and doing some other simple exercises. Among the three above, brisk walking is the most dependable. Brisk walking is a relative term, since brisk for some, is either slow or quite speedy for others, depending on their level of fitness. Whatever it is, experts say that steps per minute can be a measure to quantify brisk walking, which is often 100 steps per minute or more.
If you are a beginner at walking, then start your walk at a slow pace slowly increasing the speed as you progress. Even when you start your daily walk, it is better to warm up first by walking slowly for the first five minutes and do brisk walking and remember to slow down the speed towards the end and walk for five minutes. This way you won’t be reducing the stress on your body.
How often should you walk?
There is no hard and fast rule but walking for at least 30 minutes daily is ideal as it helps to burn 150 to 200 calories. Start by walking at least thrice a week, to begin with, and later daily while increasing the pace at which you are walking. Age, gender, health conditions, and fitness also need to be considered while walking.
Benefits of brisk walking
Now that you have an idea of how to walk and how often, let’s see how you may benefit from walking.
- Walking outdoors relieves stress and elevates mood.
- Brisk walking improves blood circulation causing each cell, tissue, and organ to receive more oxygen hence making them function properly.
- It helps to tone your legs and shed off the extra pounds which piled around your waist and also your overall body.
- Brisk walking protects from cardiovascular diseases as the heart gets enough supply of oxygen through the blood.
- It quickens the heartbeat and makes it stable.
- Brisk walking helps to battle obesity and maintain healthy blood pressure.
- It also helps to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, especially in the case of type 2 diabetes as it reduces the resistance of cells to insulin.
- Boost memory as the brain gets enough oxygen and remains active.
- It will slow down the aging process.
- When walking with a partner outdoors, the social interactions will encourage good communication and thereby increase self-confidence.
- It improves immunity as walking increases the number of immune system cells.
- Brisk walking prevents memory problems and dementia.
- It helps to get a peaceful and sound sleep.
- Increase the nutrition supply to the nervous system and other organ systems.
- Improves lung capacity.
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
- It will help to strengthen muscles and maintain a good muscle tone.
- It improves digestion as a regular walking routine will greatly improve gastric mobility.