Posted on Jan 23, 2019, 4 p.m.
Walking is probably the easiest form of exercise that can be done for free, without any special equipment, just about anywhere, at any pace, which will provide benefits, that even the elderly and those with arthritis can do.
When it come to exercise what is there not to like about walking? You can do it inside, at your leisure, more brisk to work up a sweat, up stairs to be even more challenging, or go outside to a park and enjoy a nice casual stroll taking in nature and reduce stress. Walking is an easy activity that is actually aerobic exercise, a study from the University of Tennessee found women who walked has less body fat than those who didn’t.
Walking can help to reduce stress as well as help to lower risk of blood clots; the calf acts as a venous pump, contracting and pumping blood from the feet and legs back to the heart which helps to reduce the load on the heart: Walking is good for the mind and body in many ways.
Walking brings up the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, circulation is improved, strengthens the heart, and helps to wards off heart disease. The University of Colorado and University of Tennessee found that post menopausal women who walked 1-2 miles a day were able to lower blood pressure by close to 11 points in 24 weeks; those who walked 30 minutes a day reduced risk of stroke by 20% and 40% when they increased pace according to research from Harvard School of Public Health.
Michael A. Schwartz MD says walking can help to bolster bones and prevent the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis. A study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital involving post menopausal women found that 30 minutes of walking per day reduced risk of hip fractures by 40%.
Those in their 50s and 60s who regularly exercise were found to be 35% less likely to die over the next 8 year than non walkers, which goes up to 45% less likely for those who have underlying health condition by a study conducted by the University of Michigan and the Veterans Administration Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
Those who take more steps during the day have better moods, the more steps the better the mood. As shown by a study conducted at California State University one of the emotional benefits to exercise is the release of natural painkilling endorphins to the body. Which can lead to weight loss as a brisk 30 minute walk burns 200 calories, over time that can shed pounds.
Walking tones leg and abdominal muscles, if you pump your arms as you walk even the arm muscles will benefit, which will increase the range of motion, shifting pressure and weight from the joints and muscle that are meant to handle weight, that will help to lessen arthritis pains.
Majority of joint cartilage has no direct blood supply, walking help support the joints by getting the blood and joint fluids circulating with movement delivering nutrition and oxygen. Without walking joints become deprived of life giving fluids which speeds deterioration.
Women aged 50-75 who took 1 hour morning walks were found more likely to relieve insomnia in a study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Breathing rates are increased when walking, causing oxygen to travel through the bloodstream more quickly to help eliminate waste products, improve energy levels, and ability to heal.
The University of California found age related memory decline was lower in those who walked more: women who walked 2.5 miles per day had 17% decline in memory as opposed to 25% in those who walked less than 0.5 miles a week in a study of over 6,000 women aged 65+.
Men aged 71-93 walking over a quarter mile a day were found to have had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as compared to those who walked less in a study from the University of Virginia Health System.
Walking and resistance training exercise programs may help to reduce the incidence of disability in daily living activities of those aged 65+ with symptomatic OA; walking was found to help you do more for longer according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management.
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