HEALTH BENEFITS OF WALKING BY DR. EKAETE UDO

There are many reasons for us to engage in walking and it is beneficial for us to engage in it as a form of exercise especially with the fact that we live in a fast paced world with a lot of busy schedules. For this reason, it is importance we get more intentional with walking and to reduce sedentary lifestyle. It is advised we have at least 20-30 minutes of walk 3 – 4 times a week.

 

Walking as a form of exercise has many advantages as it has beneficial effects to many organs and systems in the human body, due to the inter connectivity of our body organs.

 

Here are some benefits of walking. To start with;

 

  1. Walking helps improve oxygen flow to the brain due to the increase in the rate at which the heart pumps blood and those deep breaths helps more oxygen get into the bloodstream with a consequent improvement in our physical and mental stamina.
  2. Recent data shows that moderately vigorous physical activity at least three times per week was associated with lower risk of some preventable heart diseases with significant improvements in blood pressure. It also reduces levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the blood.
  3. Brisk walking could also be incorporated into the exercise regimen of individuals who desire a reduction in their current weight so as to take them from being overweight or obese into their ideal or expected body mass index.
  4. Walking as a form of exercise improves the quality of life for people with certain chronic diseases that have affected mobility. For example, individuals who have had a stroke, or people who are being managed for osteoarthritis or Parkinson’s disease affecting their limbs, this is just to mention few.
  5. Walking is also a great way to strengthen bones and boosting muscle power and endurance especially for athletes.
  6. Regular walking is also beneficial for blood sugar control as exercise improves the sensitivity of cells in the body to insulin thereby improving blood glucose levels.
  7. Walking also improves sleep especially in the elderly.
  8. Walking as a form of exercise improves mood and boost immunity.

 

It is also important to note some safety tips while we decide to engage in walking.

 

SAFETY TIPS FOR WALKING

  • Choose a familiar route
  • Walk in well-lit areas designated for pedestrians
  • If you walk in the evening or early morning, wear a reflective or light coloured vest so cars can see you.
  • Put on a comfortable and well fitted shoe
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing
  • Stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amount of water before and after you walk

 

In conclusion, I’ll like to share with you how to get started. So to get started;

 

TIPS ON HOW TO GET STARTED

  • Set your goals i.e. what you set to achieve when you walk
  • You can make it fun by inviting a friend to join you or you can walk with your pet.
  • Consider walking instead of driving for errands within short distances.
  • Park farther away from your office than usual and walk to and from your car.
  • Finally, remember to stay safe and focus on the reason you choose to start in the first place.