Aside from being good for your heart, walking helps you stay healthy and relieve stress. Not only does walking reduce the chances of colds and flu, but it also lowers blood pressure and improves mental alertness. Below are a few other benefits of walking:
Reduces risk of developing a cold or the flu
One of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of developing a cold or the flu is to walk more. The flu virus is spread via respiratory droplets, so it is important to avoid touching your nose or mouth after a sick person has touched them. Another way to reduce your risk is to practice good hand washing. Using soap and water is recommended, but an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is okay, too. The virus that causes the common cold can live on your hands, so regular hand washing is a great idea. Avoid touching any sensitive areas, such as your face, and avoid kissing others who are sick. Also, practice good coughing etiquette. If you are coughing or sneezing, cough into the upper sleeve of your shirt, not your face, and cover your mouth with
According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, people who exercise regularly reduce their risk of developing colds by nearly 50%. Walking and other physical activity increases the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses and irritants. In addition to strengthening the immune system, exercise boosts the body’s ability to fight infection, and helps people feel better overall. People who exercise regularly also have less frequent colds, but it does not guarantee immunity.
Lowers blood pressure
Researchers have found that walking to reduce blood pressure may be beneficial for patients with high blood pressure. The research was done in African Americans with newly diagnosed hypertension. The researchers looked at 73 randomized controlled trials and 5,763 participants. The participants ranged in age from 16 to 84 years old, were normotensive or hypertensive, and included women and men with a variety of health conditions. The primary outcome was change in systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included changes in diastolic blood pressure and heart rate.
Researchers found that thirty minutes of brisk walking on a treadmill each morning was as effective as taking medication to lower blood pressure. Short walks in the morning followed by additional short walks later in the day had long-lasting benefits. Researchers studied the effects of three walking plans on high-risk subjects. The results of the trials showed that participants had lowered blood pressure by as much as 20% after six months of guided walking. In this blog post, I will discuss how walking lowers blood pressure, why it is effective, and how much you should do to reach your goal.
Improves mental alertness
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably wondered if walking helps improve mental alertness. This simple exercise is proven to improve brain function and prevent mental fatigue. Mental alertness is important for the way we reason, perceive, and react to changes in our bodies. Walking helps keep our minds alert so that we can concentrate on difficult tasks and respond to dangers. And when you walk, you’ll also get a great cardiovascular workout.
In addition to helping us lose weight and keep our hearts healthy, walking also improves our brain’s health. It can even lower our risk of age-related memory decline. Research shows that older men who walk at least two miles a day are half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia as those who don’t exercise. Walking is also proven to increase levels of brain chemicals that encourage neuron growth and transmit messages.
Lowers risk of developing a blood clot
One study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis found that regular participation in sports reduces the risk of blood clots by up to 39 percent in men and 22 percent in women. The researchers analyzed data from 7,860 people aged 18 to 70, comparing the statistics of people with blood clots to those who did not. Out of the patients, 31 percent were regular sports participants and 40 percent were not.
Regular walking after surgery may reduce your risk of blood clots in the legs. Walking also decreases the risk of chronic swelling in the legs, a condition known as post-thrombotic syndrome. During pregnancy, hormonal changes may increase the risk of blood clots. The most effective way to circulate blood is by walking. The body’s leg muscles help move blood throughout the legs, so walking helps reduce the risk.
When it comes to exercise routines, nothing can beat brisk walking for toning the legs. Walking works almost all the muscle groups in the body, including your thighs, bum, and waist. But walking does more than tone your legs, it improves your cardiovascular health. You can also burn more calories by walking for 30 to 40 minutes a day. To reap the most benefits from walking, try increasing your intensity and frequency to six days a week.
While walking is a good way to tone your legs, you can also try jogging or running. If you’re already stronger, try adding more walking time into your day. Try walking up hills, as that will increase your endurance. Another excellent exercise to tone legs is indoor cycling. Cycling is a high-intensity workout, but is much easier on the joints than jogging. You’ll want to adjust the bike if necessary to prevent injuries.