Benefits of walking for the mind and body
It controls blood pressure, decreases risk of diabetes, and dementia
Do you know any exercise easier to perform than walking? It requires no skill, it is inexpensive, can be
done virtually any time of day, has no age restriction and can even be done indoors if the person has a
treadmill. For someone who does not practice any kind of sport, walking 10 minutes a day is enough to
cause noticeable effects on the body, within just one week. Besides the improvement in physical
fitness, the benefits of walking for health, body and mind are many and proven by science. Here are 11
benefits that this habit will result in for you. Check it out here and move to improve your health:
Improves the circulation
According to studies, walking for about 40 minutes can reduce blood pressure during 24 hours after the
exercise. This is because during the exercise period, blood flow increases, causing blood vessels to
expand, reducing the pressure.
Moreover, the hike makes the valves of the heart work harder, improving circulation to and hemoglobin
oxygenation of the body. With the increased pumping of blood to the lungs, blood becomes more rich
in oxygen. In addition, walking also forces the arteries, veins and capillaries to dilate, making the
transport of oxygen more efficient to the peripheral parts of the body, such as arms and legs.
Increases the lung capacity
The lungs are also given exercise when we walk. Gas exchanges that occur in that body become more
powerful when we walk often. This causes a larger amount of impurities exit the lungs, leaving him
more free from virus and dust.
According to experts, the practice of walking, if advised by a physician, can also help dilate the lungs
and prevent some inflammation in the airways such as bronchitis. In some simple cases, it has the same
effect as a syrup bronchodilators .
The impact of the feet with the ground has a beneficial effect on bone. The compression of the leg
bones, and moving the entire skeleton by walking makes results in an increase in electrical stimuli in
our bones, called piezoelectric. The electrical stimulation facilitates calcium absorption, leaving the
bones stronger and less likely to suffer from osteoporosis. In the initial phase of bone loss, walking is a
good way to strengthen bones. Yet, when the condition osteoporosis is present, oftentimes walking can
slow the progression of the disease, experts say.
During the process of walking, our body releases more endorphins, a hormone produced by the
pituitary gland, responsible for feelings of joy and relaxation. When a person begins an exercise
program, it automatically produces endorphins.
After a while, you need more intense exercises to feel the beneficial effect of the hormone. Start
walking, it is the beginning of a beneficial circle. The more you walk, the more your body produces
endorphins, which gives you more motivation to continue exercising. This relaxation also incents you
to be prepared to spend more time walking.
Increased sense of well-being
A short walk on green areas like parks and gardens, can significantly improve mental health, benefiting
the sense of humor and self-esteem, according to a study by University of Essex, UK.
Comparing data from 1200 people of different ages, gender and mental health status, researchers found
that those who engaged in walking outdoors and also cycling, gardening, fishing, canoeing, horse
riding and agriculture, experienced positive effects in relation to mood and self-esteem, even if such
activities were practiced by only a few minutes daily.
Walking daily is a great exercise to leave the body in shape, improve health and retard aging.
Helps make the brain healthier
Walking daily is a great exercise to get the body in shape, improve health and retard aging. However, a
new study from the University of Illinois, United States, shows that this anti-aging effect of exercise
may also be possible on the brain by increasing stimulation to its circuits while reducing the risk of
memory problems and increasing the attention span. The benfits we receive when we walk include
increasing our coordination and causing our brain's ability to respond to more stimuli, whether their
visual, tactile, auditory or olfactory.
Another study by the University of Pittsburgh, found that people who walk on average 10 miles a week
had half the risk of having a decrease in brain volume. This can be a decisive factor in preventing
several types of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, which slowly kills the brain cells.
Walking during the day causes the body has a peak in production of stimulants such as adrenaline. This
substance leaves the body more willing during the hours following the exercise. Added to this, walking
improves sleep quality at night.
As the whole body is using energy during walking, our body falls asleep quickly at the end of the day.
So few people who walk often have insomnia, and therefore have no drowsiness the next day.
Keeps Your Weight in Control
This is perhaps the most noted of the benefits of walking. Of course, walking and losing weight. If
you're used to spending a certain amount of energy and start walking, your body experiences a higher
caloric demand that causes a localized fat-burning, experts say.
And the role of walking in losing weight does not stop there. Researchers at Yale University, USA,
showed that even hours after exercise, the person continues to lose weight due to acceleration of
metabolism caused by increased circulation, respiration and muscle activity.
The conclusion was that the muscles of athletes consistently convert more energy to heat than those of
sedentary individuals. This is because those who initiate an intensive training program of resistance,
such as walking, have a higher metabolism.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Exeter in England, suggests that walking may
overcome the addiction to chocolate. During the study, 25 people were evaluated, who had been
consuming a quantity of at least 100 grams per day of chocolate. The chocolate lovers had to give up
consumption of candy and were divided into two groups, one of which would make a daily walk.
The researchers found that not eating chocolate, along with the stress caused by everyday life, resulted
in a greater desire to consume the candy. But a 15 minute walk on a treadmill provides a significant
reduction in the desire for candy.
In addition to occupying my time with anything other than food, hiking releases hormones such as
endorphins, which relax and battle stress, an effect that many people look at food compulsively.
Protects against strokes and heart disease
Walking will reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. By helping control blood pressure, walking is a
preventative factor with respect to stroke and heart disease. The blood vessels become more elastic and
more prone to dilate when confronting the obstruction. This prevents the arteries carrying blood from
Walking also regulates cholesterol levels in the body. It acts both to decrease the production of bad fats
in the body, which are more likely to accumulate in blood vessel walls and thus cause strokes and heart
attacks, and aids in the increased production of HDL, known as good cholesterol.
Decrease liklihood or effect of Diabetes
Insulin, a substance that is responsible for the absorption of glucose by body cells, is produced in
greater quantities during the practice of walking, since the activity of the pancreas and liver are
stimulated during walking due to increased blood circulation in all organs.
Another important point is that the training produced by intense aerobic walking is capable of reversing
insulin resistance, an important factor for developing diabetes. Thus it is proved that the exercise is
even more beneficial against evil than previously thought.
The greater the amount of insulin in the blood, the greater the ability of cells to absorb glucose. When
this sugar is circulating freely in the blood can cause diabetes.
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