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There’s no doubt we’ve become too sedentary in our daily lives. Humans, like every other species, are meant to move. Sitting in cubicles and being chained to our desks, chairs and computers is just not in our design. So perhaps the best thing for your health anyone can tell you is to “take a hike”. Going for a walk lifts your mood, lowers blood pressure and, well, just read the rest of the amazing health benefits for getting up, and out, for a walk.
Walk Off That Weight
In a recent Harvard study, researchers showed that women who ate a regular diet, but walked at least an hour a day, were able to successfully maintain their weight. If weight maintenance, or weight loss is on your agenda, make sure you also pencil in a walk.
Walk To Lower Blood Pressure
If you want to lower your blood pressure, you’ll have to get your heart pumping. And a quick and brisk walk, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is just as effective at lowering your blood pressure as jogging is. Just 10 minutes, a couple of times a day is all you need.
Walk To Avoid Dementia
For anyone that’s had a parent affected by dementia, they know it’s a scary and very debilitating disease. But walking improves cerebral blood flow necessary for warding off this brain disease. In fact, studies involving seniors have proven that those that walked daily, compared to those that didn’t, had greatly reduced their chances of getting dementia.
Look at those two knee joints. The one on the left is healthy, the one on the right, riddled with painful osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes joint swelling, stiffness, and a lot of pain. But a study out of the University of California showed that people who walked regularly greatly reduced their chances of getting this painful joint disease.
Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer
Research has shown that walking is great for reducing one’s chance of getting many forms of cancer. Both Harvard and the University of California found that walking briskly for at least three hours a week reduced the recurrence of prostate cancer in patients. Here’s a tip: try walking in a new neighbourhood to keep things interesting.
“A 20 to 30 minute walk can help reduce blood sugar for 24 hours” says Tami Ross, RD, LD, who is a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Walking, as mentioned before, is also effective at helping one lose weight, which is important for both types of diabetes.
Reduces Risk Of Heat Disease
Walking is proven to reduce your cholesterol levels, which in turn, reduces your risk of heart disease. Just 30 minutes a day is all you need to prevent heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. If you’re finding it hard to get 30 minutes in a day, break it up into 3 ten-minute walks.
Walk To Improve Your Mood
Depression is a very serious, and growing condition in far too many people. And many struggle to find a treatment, much less a cure. But thankfully, a Portuguese study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research showed that adults with depression that walked at least 30 to 45 minutes five times a week for 12 weeks, greatly improved their symptoms and felt much better.
Walk Your Pain Away
While it seems rather counterintuitive, walking can greatly reduce arthritis pain. It works because arthritis stiffens joints, while walking, loosens them up. In fact, one study showed that 6,000 steps a day is all you need to prevent the onset of certain forms of arthritis.
Walk To Reduce Stroke
A stroke is a life-changing event that can cripple one’s life, along with their families as well. But one study in the American Heart Association showed that those women who walked at a brisk rate daily, greatly lowered their chance of having a stroke compared to those that didn’t. The researchers attribute this to walking’s ability to help lower blood pressure, which when too high, is the leading cause of having a stroke.