Walking is a part of our daily activity. We are doing it since our infancy. But many of us are not doing this enough to reap the health benefits of it. In this article, we bring before you the top 5 health benefits of walking regularly. 

Walking for health requires a more sustainable effort on a daily basis and the rewards are worth. This exercise form can alleviate numerous health conditions. It also helps people to lead a stress-free life, get better sleep and be pleasant.

The prime advantage of walking is that it is the simplest and cheapest form of exercise. For walking, a person does not need to attend regular classes or buy expensive equipment. He or she just needs to put one foot in front of the other.

Walking is also one of the most comfortable forms of exercises. A person does not need a specific place to do it. Instead of depending on a motor vehicle, he or she can just walk to nearby places, like office, hair salon, shopping center, doctor’s office, library or even the grocery shop.

The people who struggle to find time for regular exercise can even try some indoor options for walking like malls, offices, airports, and hospitals.

Another advantage of walking is that this exercise form is known to be a joint-friendly exercise. It does not really affect body balancing and walkers usually do not suffer from any form of exercise-related injuries.

5 Health Benefits of  Walking 

Walking is known to be one of the best remedies for several chronic illnesses like cancer, stroke, diabetes, and many cardiovascular diseases. It is also believed to be the best medicine for lifting your mood and preventing depression and memory loss.

1. Walking lowers the risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in women in both developed and developing countries. According to a statistical report by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 570,000 women from various parts of the world died due to this disease in 2015. In India, it has become one of the most “formidable enemies in the healthcare landscape”, states a report by Apollo Hospital. According to it, around 100,000 women in the country are developing breast cancer every year.  

However, many observational studies have suggested that physically active women do not suffer from this chronic illness. In 2013, an American Cancer Society observed over 70,000 women walkers. At the end of the study, the researchers found that women who walked for more than an hour on a daily basis had 14% lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked for just three to four hours a week.

The study also suggested that walking provides protection to obese women who have developed breast cancer. It does not just reduce the side effects of supplemental hormones, but it also makes them feel less anxious and fatigued. This exercise form has even proved to be a good remedy for reoccurrence and death.

Read our article on how to prevent breast cancer 

2. Regular walking protects the heart and prevents strokes 

Cardiovascular diseases and strokes are described as the world’s leading global killers by WHO. The latest statistical report by the organization states that more than 17 million people worldwide die due to this chronic illness every year.  Surprisingly, 75% percent of these deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

The prime cause for this disease is believed to be physical inactivity. So, walking could be one of the best ways to protect your arteries and heart. Multiple studies conducted by Harvard University have already proved the health benefits of walking. In one study, the researchers observed over 70,000 women belonging to the age group of 40 and 65 for eight years.  At the end of the study, the researchers found that those who walked for more than four hours a week experienced a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases including strokes.

3. Walking can help you to sleep better and keep your brain young

A good walk in the morning can help you sleep better at night. Walking 5-6 km a week prevents the brain cells from dying and also improves memory particularly those suffering from a mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease. Walking also improves interconnection between various parts of the brain thus improving your capacity to take decisions and pri0ritize.

4. Walking helps in absorbing blood sugar

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is increasing rapidly in the middle and low-income countries. The latest statistical report by WHO states that it is the leading cause of death globally. The report states that more than 1.5 million people died due to this illness in 2015.  

Experts say that physical inactivity is the prime cause for diabetes. The best medicine for it is to work out the muscles and make them absorb blood sugar more effectively. Several research works from across the globe, including a study of the University of California and Nurses’ Health Study, have proved the role played by walking in reducing the risk of diabetes. Further, walking helps to reduce your craving for sugary snacks and chocolates. 

According to a study published in the journal Health Education Research, diabetes patients experienced an improvement in their health after they started walking for approximately two miles a day.

5. Walking is the best medicine for joint pain

A person who is struggling with joint pain may not be interested in doing anything that hurts. But experts say that walking can actually reduce pain.  This exercise form also plays a vital role in lubricating joints and strengthening the surrounding muscles. Studies have even suggested that it can lower the risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis mainly affects the hips and knees. A person who has this degenerative condition suffers from weakness, swelling, stiffness and joint pain. Studies show that 20 minutes of walking a day can improve the condition. It can also lower the risk of disabilities due to this condition.

 

In short, walking is the best medicine for several physical and mental problems faced by human beings in their day to day lives. So, it’s time to lace up the shoes and head out to stay healthy.

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