11 benefits of brisk walking

Walk for a healthy body
Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay fit. You may have a busy life, but try and introduce physical activity in your life. A moderate dose of physical exercise for 30 minutes (if you can’t manage that much, even 15 minutes is okay to begin with) a day is enough to keep you healthy. This form of aerobic fitness can lift your mood, make you physically fit, and improve the quality of your life.

Before you start
Wear the right pair of walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Also remember to carry and drink water while you walk, to hydrate yourself. Walk for 15-20 minutes for the first three days, and then gradually increase the time. You can use a pedometer to count the steps you take.

Walk your way to a healthy heart
Walking can lower your cholesterol levels and decrease the risks for cardiovascular diseases. It can also strengthen your heart, muscles and lungs. A strong heart with an increased heart rate is able to carry more blood to the rest of your body. Brisk walking every day lets you burn up to 200 calories and reduces body fat.

Cuts your risk of hypertension and diabetes
According to a study, regular walking improves the BMI (body mass index) and blood pressure levels in people with diabetes. Allowing muscle movement leads to more use of glucose by the muscle cells. This also involves utilization of more insulin, which improves blood sugar levels. Low blood pressure levels can also protect against kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

Reduces risks and effects of cancer
Research shows that in colon cancer, a speedy walk can give less time to the carcinogens present in the food to come in touch with the intestinal lining and reduce the risks of having cancer from the start itself. With improved blood circulation, walking brings in positive energy within the body and therefore lessens the side effects of chemotherapy.

Protect against miscarriages
Despite the several body changes during pregnancy, regular walking can benefit you in many ways. It can reduce fatigue and related pains, help lose weight easily, and lower risks of gestational diabetes. Walking can also prevent spontaneous abortions by lowering down the hormonal fluctuations which cause uterine contractions.

Walk for better sexual health
A regular habit of brisk walking can improve your performance in bed. Walking two miles a day boosts blood circulation which cuts down on the risk of impotency. You can be healthy and fit, and need not rely on medicines to keep your love life active.

Rejuvenate your mind and spirit
Walking benefits not just your body but also your mind. Brisk walking helps ease stress and anxiety, reduces depression and imparts a positive kick-start to your day. It improves your self-esteem, charges up the mood and helps to keep you energetic, positive and happy throughout the day.

Manage extra kilos
Proper exercise coupled with a nutritious diet can help to burn calories which would otherwise end up as fat. You can burn up to 100 kcal of energy by walking a mile and for every two miles you walk, three times per week, you are guaranteed to lose 0.5 kg every month. With a habit of brisk walking 45 minutes a day, a slimmer waistline will not remain a distant dream.

Improves brainpower
Walking stimulates the blood flow, and provides oxygen to the brain. This leads to improved functioning of the brain and better ability to recall. Besides, a moderate dose of physical activity is also known to lower the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in seniors.

Add years to your life
Exercising can add to longevity. Thirty minutes of daily physical activity is said to extend your life by 1.3 years. More importantly, it can keep you fit by preventing, or delaying, the onset of age-related conditions such as osteoarthritis. Walking with peers can also cheer you up and motivate you.

Last word: Consult your doctor
If you happen to suffer from any condition, and intend to start walking, it is always better to consult your doctor first. Discuss whether you need to take any precautions and follow his suggestions about whether you should go for brisk walk, and also how you should go about it.

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