Walking is one of the simplest forms of exercise. It is free and you don’t have to pay for gym membership just to do it. Yet, it has a number of health benefits.
Below are 10 health benefits of walking:
1. Fights Cancer
There are studies that can show the benefits of walking to reduce the risk of cancer for both men and women. For women, walking at least 2 hours per week reduces cancer by around 20 percent. This increases with the number of hours walked per week. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer, walking lowers the chances of its progression by around 50 percent.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
According to a study conducted by the Korean Institute of Sports Science, people who walk 30 minutes every day for five times a week can help decrease blood pressure.
3. Promotes a Healthy Heart
People who have a daily habit of walking reduce their risk of heart disease. According to a study conducted on retired men, walking 1.5 miles a day lowers the risk of heart disease. For women who walk at least 3 hours per week, the risk of heart disease is cut down by around 40 percent.
4. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that walking is linked with a reduced risk of diabetes in both men and women. In the same study, about 3,000 overweight adults who walk for 2.5 hours per week and observe a healthy diet have a reduced risk of diabetes by about 58 percent.
5. Keeps Arteries Unclogged
Aside from lowering blood pressure, another health benefit of walking for the heart is that it keeps the arteries clean and unclogged with fats. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that walking or exercising before eating may prevent the effects of fatty foods in the blood vessels due to increased blood circulation.
6. Boosts Mental Health
Depression and anxiety are just two of the mental problems that can be alleviated with constant walking. Walking helps replenish endorphins that influence the emotional well-being of a person. Not only that, walking also helps improve the cognitive function of a person as well as boost self-esteem according to the National Institute of Health.
7. Improves Brain Health
Aside from boosting mental health, walking also helps improve brain health. A research conducted by the Rush University Medical Center shows that walking and exercising regularly reduces mental decline and brain atrophy. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is also reduced by about 50 percent.
8. Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis
According to a study which employs participants who have knee arthritis after walking regularly for 8 weeks, participants are able to increase their walking distance by about 18 percent. Joint functions are also increased by around 40 percent. Aside from that, pain which is one of the symptoms of arthritis is greatly reduced.
9. Weight Loss
If you like to lose weight, one of the best ways to do it is to include walking in your daily activities. As you walk, you will sweat out your fats, thus helping you reduce weight.
10. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy
Walking during pregnancy for half an hour every day helps pregnant women reduce back pain, constipation, swelling, and other pregnancy-related ailments.
Walking indeed offers many health benefits. If you develop the habit of walking every day, you will be able to maintain a healthy mind and body.