8 Simple Ways Walking Makes Life a Lot Better
By Sandy Schroeder
We live in an age where everything seems to need to be bigger, but sometimes the simplest, most direct solutions turn out to be the best.
Walking fits into that category. There’s no struggle to arrive on time – just walk whenever and wherever you can. There’s no demand to reach specified limits. Just walk as much as you feel like.
Plus, there’s no cap on the amount of walking you do. As you get into a groove, you may amaze yourself with your capability. My retired parents started walking after my mother’s heart attack. Over a period of time, simple after-dinner walks grew into five-mile daily accomplishments that helped them live amazingly long productive lives.
When you walk regularly, Care2.com says these are some of the likely benefits.
Staying trim gets easier - University of Virginia professor Art Weltman told Health.com, “Fast-paced walking, when combined with healthy eating, is hugely effective for weight loss.” For women this can mean losing deep abdominal fat first.
Blood pressure drops – University of Tennessee researchers found regular walking lowered blood pressure by 11 points and reduced stroke risk by 20 to 40 percent.
Heart health gets better – Recent studies say walking five days a week for 30 minutes can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent.
Bone density builds – As we age, avoiding fractures becomes a real concern, but walking can help build healthier, stronger bones to reduce falls and fractures.
Digestion improves –Walking’s use of stomach and core muscles works to stimulate the GI system helping your digestion function smoothly.
Walkers smile more – Ever watched a walker? Often they are smiling. They are outside doing something that they know is good for them and they are collecting good endorphins that come from exercising. Not surprising, their mood goes up. Psychologists say walking helps us release anger and hostility, generate new ideas, and be a social animal if we enlist a buddy, too. That’s a lot of payback for just slipping on your sneakers and spending a little time moving your feet.
Fighting SAD – If you or someone you know has SAD, the seasonal affective disorder, walking may help you cope with the low-light winter months, boosting your mood and clearing your head.
Creativity grows – Many friends say their most original ideas come when they head out for their walk. I agree. Somehow, being outdoors and reducing my whole mission to putting one foot in front of the other seems to free up my mind and put it to work. I usually come back smiling with new ideas.
Wherever you are with walking, you may have already benefitted from it. If so, keep it up and refine the process, weaving it through your day, or recruiting friends and family when you can.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex