A regular exercise regime is crucial to support physical and mental health. You don't need to spend hours at the gym every day to improve your fitness levels, though. Regular walking is proven to be a great form of exercise. From fat loss to improving the health of your heart, there are lots of benefits to walking regularly. Let's take a look at what these are!
1 . Walking for Fat Loss
According to a study from HealthLine, '11 moderate-weight women lost an average of 17 pounds (7.7 kg), or 10% of their initial body weight, after 6 months of brisk walking daily.' A similar study discovered that a group of overweight women lost 6 pounds in 12 weeks by walking for 50-70 mins, 3 days a week (HL, 2021).
Walking for fat loss is a great way to work towards your weight loss goals. It can be helpful to set yourself goals relating to how often you will walk and for how long.
2. Improve Mental Health
Exercise is one of the best ways to raise your endorphin levels, lift your mood, and improve your mental health. Where you go for a walk also makes a difference. Numerous studies have shown that being around nature is a great way to boost your mental health. Walking is particularly beneficial for people who experience stress, depression, and anxiety.
3. Aerobic Fitness
Walking has been shown to improve aerobic fitness levels, supporting the heart to pump oxygen into the muscles. For walking to be an effective aerobic exercise, you'll need to walk at a brisk pace. Improved aerobic fitness has lots of benefits, including:
4. Improve Cardiovascular Health
According to HeartFoundation.org, 'walking for an average of 30 minutes or more a day can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke by 35% per cent and Type 2 diabetes by 40%.' Walking is regarded as a great way to improve cardiovascular health, supporting the function of the heart and blood vessels.
When you lead an inactive lifestyle, this can lead to fatty materials clogging up your arteries. If your arteries become damaged, this can cause a heart attack. Walking can help you to retain healthy blood pressure levels and improve your cholesterol.
5. Boost the Immune System
Walking is also a great way to boost the immune system. When you exercise, you'll increase your white blood cell count. Your white blood cells are needed to prevent infections and protect your body from diseases. The World Journal of Experimental Medicine study concluded that 'white blood cell count increased significantly after just five minutes of exercise' (Insider 2020).
6. Soothe Joint Pain
Walking is a fantastic way to protect your joints, mainly your hips and knees. When you go for a walk, the activity helps to strengthen and lubricate the muscles surrounding your joints. If you have arthritis, walking can be a helpful activity to reduce pain and improve movement.
There are so many walking benefits for health, from fat loss to improved heart health. To support your routine, try using walking fitness apps. Tools like these can help you to plan your routes and track your progress. Creating an effective fitness regime is all about motivating yourself and organising your time.
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