Walking is a physical activity that can help you maintain good health. Many healthcare professionals recommend walking for the many reasons. It’s easy for most people to do. Walking doesn’t cost much – just the cost of a good pair of walking shoes. And, it can provide you with many mental and physical benefits.
While most of us walk some throughout our daily life, less than half of Americans walk enough to gain any health benefits. By walking just 30 minutes for 5 days a week, you can obtain the following healthy benefits.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Walking
No. 1: Walking Improves Your Circulation.
Walking helps pump your blood throughout your body better. It can also help decrease your risk of having peripheral artery disease (PAD). With this condition, your extremities (arms and legs) don’t receive enough blood. This decreased blood flow is due to atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque or fatty deposits in your arteries. However, regular walks can reverse atherosclerosis.
No. 2: Walking Increases Your Lung Function.
During a brisk walk, your breathing rate increases, which, in turn, increases the workload on your lungs. Additionally, your blood pressure rises, which enables more blood to flow into the air sacs in your lungs. This process produces more oxygen in your blood. When your lungs get more oxygen, so does the rest of your body.
No. 3: Walking Lowers Your Blood Pressure.
Regular exercise can make your heart stronger. With a stronger heart, less effort is required to pump more blood throughout your body. When your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, the force on your arteries decreases, which lowers your blood pressure.
No. 4: Daily Walking Can Boost Your Immune System.
Studies show that 20 minutes of walking for at least 5 days a week can reduce the number of days you get sick. And, if you do get sick, your symptoms will be milder, and you’ll get over your illness quicker. Regular exercise boosts the immune system by helping to strengthen the cells in your body that attack bad bacteria.
No. 5: Walking Improves Mood.
Studies show that people who walk for 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week, are happier and have less depression. While you’re walking, your brain releases serotonin and dopamine. These “happy” chemicals help lift your mood long after your walk. Additionally, walking outside in natural sunlight can help stave off depression, too.
No. 6: Walking Protects You from Memory Loss and Dementia.
Regular aerobic exercise can increase the size of your hippocampus, the part of your brain that helps you learn and remember. Additionally, when you walk, a protein called BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is released. BDNF encourages new cells to grow in your brain, which also helps ward off memory loss and dementia.
No. 7: Walking Can Reduce Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms.
Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder. It causes a throbbing, creeping, or tingling sensation in your legs. This condition typically occurs at night when you’re trying to sleep. Because of the uncomfortable sensation in your legs, you’ll have an overwhelming urge to move your legs. A short, easy walk before bedtime can help relieve some of the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.
No. 8: Walking Can Strengthen Your Bones.
Walking is a weight-bearing activity. When you walk, the added stress on your bones causes your bones’ cells to build new bone. New bone growth increases your bone density and strengthens them. Stronger bones protect you from osteoporosis and fractures.
No. 9: Daily Walking Can Prevent Falls in Older People.
As you age, you can lose your physical dexterity, which is your ability to perform controlled physical movements. Decreased physical dexterity can lead to more falls and frailty. However, walking can help improve your balance and strengthen your ability to move easily. Therefore, you won’t be more prone to falling, which can lead to broken bones or worse.
No. 10: Walking Helps You Control Your Weight.
Daily walking can increase your metabolism which burns extra calories helping you to lose weight. Additionally, walking helps improve your body’s response to insulin. This helps you to reduce belly fat. By reducing excess weight, you can lower your risk of various other health problems and live longer.
Start Walking Today!
These are just some of the many health benefits you can receive from daily walking. If you’re just beginning a walking regimen, you may want to start by walking at an easy pace for 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually increase the length of time and pace you’re walking and the number of days you walk. Over time, you should be able to walk at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes a day, every day.
How to Walk with Less Pain
Do you suffer from pain in your feet, legs, knees, hips, or lower back when you walk? Does pain keep you from walking more? If so, you should consider wearing a custom foot orthotic, like ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics in your shoes.
As you walk, your feet receive the full weight and pressure of your body. If you don’t walk in an efficient manner throughout the gait cycle, your feet can become stressed. This can lead to pain in your feet and throughout your lower extremities.
ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are specifically made to provide your feet with the exact support they need. With our custom orthotics, your feet will be better bio-mechanically aligned, so you’ll walk with a more controlled gait cycle. Therefore, you’ll notice you have greater stability and balance as well as better posture. More importantly, you’ll experience pain relief with every step you take.
ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics are ultra thin and ¾ in length, so they will easily fit into any footwear you may have. And they come with a 90-day, money-back guarantee, so what do you have to lose – other than your pain?
To order your ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics online, visit our online shop. Or, you can schedule an appointment with Kathy Carandang, founder of the WalkEZStore and a certified pedorthist. Kathy can examine your feet and gait, and answer any questions you may have about your foot health and your footwear.
Put ezWalker® Custom Orthotics in your shoes, because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cover photo: 123RF / Sergey Mironov