• READERS' OAK WEEKLY

Walking is man’s best medicine

Updated: Sep 8

Walking is man’s best medicine” This quote is given by the very famous Greek physician, Hippocrates. Yes, it is true. There are numerous benefits of walking. If it is done regularly, there should be no need of taking any other medicine. Let us discuss some benefits of walking


Benefits of walking – 1. Walking strengthens your heart Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by walking regularly. It’s great cardio exercise, lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. The Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to prevent and control the high blood pressure that causes strokes, reducing the risk by up to 27 percent.

2. Walking lowers disease risk A regular walking habit slashes the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 60 percent, and you’re 20 percent less likely to develop cancer of the colon, breast or womb with an active hobby such as walking.

3. Walking helps you lose weight You will burn around 75 calories simply by walking at 2mph for 30 minutes. Up your speed to 3mph and it’s 99 calories, while 4mph is 150 calories (equivalent to three Jaffa cakes and a jam doughnut!). Work that short walk into your daily routine and you’ll shed the pounds in no time.

4. Walking prevents dementia Older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass. Since dementia affects one in 14 people over 65 and one in six over 80, we reckon that’s a pretty great idea.

5. Walking tones up legs, bums and tums Give definition to calves, quads and hamstrings while lifting your glutes (bum muscles) with a good, regular walk. Add hill walking into the mix and it’s even more effective. Pay attention to your posture and you’ll also tone your abs and waist.

6. Walking boosts vitamin D We all need to get outside more. Many people in the world are vitamin D deficient, affecting important things like bone health and our immune systems. Walking is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors while getting your vitamin D fix.

7. Walking gives you energy You will get more done with more energy, and a brisk walk is one of the best natural energizers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon.

8. Walking makes you happy It’s true – exercise boosts your mood. Studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression, releasing feel-good endorphins while reducing stress and anxiety. So for positive mental health, walking’s an absolute must. Why walk is necessary? Ever wondered what happens to your body when you start walking?

Here's a minute-by -minute rundown of the amazing chain reaction walking and exercise has up on your body, it's truly amazing! Minutes 1 to 5 Your first few steps trigger the release of energy-producing chemicals in your cells to fuel your walk. Your heart rate revs-up from about 70 to 100 beats per minute (bpm), boosting blood-flow and warming muscles. Any stiffness subsides as joints release lubricating fluid to help you move more easily. As you get moving, your body burns 5 calories per minute, compared with only 1 per minute at rest. Your body needs more fuel and starts pulling from its carbohydrates and fat stores. Minutes 6 to 10 Heartbeat increases and you're burning up to 6 calories a minute as you pick up the pace. A slight rise in blood pressure is countered by the release of chemicals that expand blood vessels, bringing more blood and oxygen to working muscles. Minutes 11 to 20 Your body temperature keeps rising, and you start to perspire as blood vessels near the skin expand to release heat. As your walk becomes brisker, you'll be burning up to 7 calories a minute and breathing harder. Hormones such as epinephrine and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles. Minutes 21 to 45 Feeling invigorated, you start to relax as your body releases tension, thanks in part to a dose of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins in your brain. As more fat is burned, insulin (which helps store fat) drops--excellent news for anyone battling excess weight or diabetes. Minutes 46 to 60 Your muscles may feel fatigued as carbohydrates stores are reduced. As you cool down, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows. You'll be burning fewer calories but more than you were before you started. Your calorie burn will remain elevated for up to 1 hour. All this happens without a single conscious thought from us - the human body is amazing.. So, I hope now you will take out some time from your hectic schedule and dedicate it towards your fitness. Start walking. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and it is the easiest thing. It is not necessary to go out for your walks. You can do this activity in your premises or in your compound itself. It can your lawn, your terrace or your room or a jogging track. You just have to walk and be focused on your health. When are you planning to start? Stay healthy. Stay beautiful.

Priyam Mohan

(Dietitian and Nutritionist)

CONSULTING

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