The current health recommendations suggest that adults should do 150-minute moderate exercise or 75-minute intense exercise every week.
For many people, walking is an easy, practical way to achieve the above exercise goal.
Having 30 minutes or more of walking every day at a speed of between 5-8 km per hour can improve health.
Walking can help protect us from many chronic diseases caused by overeating, over-drinking, smoking and sedentary behaviors.
Recent research has shown that a 35-min walk every day could help reduce the risk of severe strokes.
For those who still need convincing, there are 6 reasons why a daily outdoor walk can improve your health.
Walking decreases your blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase risks for stroke and heart disease. Walking has been shown to reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the “first number” obtained when blood pressure is measured and represents the pressure in the arteries at the moment the heart is actively pumping blood into the system.
Diastolic, the “second number”, represents pressure in the arteries during the heart’s rest period.
Prevention of blood pressure could help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Walking can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes
Previous research has shown the benefits of walking for people with pre-diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, or even Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It is linked to insulin resistance or a lack of insulin. The condition is strongly related to unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Walking could improve insulin functions and reduce the development of type 2 diabetes.
Walking can reduce depression
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
Walking has been recommended for managing symptoms of depression for a long time.
When combined with the positive effects of sunshine and fresh air, as well as the social cohesion experienced when in a group, walking is an effective strategy to reduce depression symptoms.
Walking can help you lose weight
Walking can help improve body composition and reduce body fat effectively.
And research has shown that exercise combined with a healthy diet could produce greater changes to body composition than exercise alone.
Walking has no side effects
Walking is a moderate exercise without adverse side effects.
The exercise is safe for children, young adults, and older adults. The take-home message here is that there is nothing to lose from trying it out and plenty to gain.
Walking doesn’t cost a thing
Walking does not need resources such as gyms and expensive sports equipment. You just need a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
But this simple exercise could protect you from many chronic diseases.
If you can walk with other people, the benefit can be even stronger. It adds an important element of safety, and it helps with motivation.
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