Health, Skincare, Nutrition, Wellbeing, Natural Remedies

Walking as Exercise – Everything You Need to Know

Walking is the best medicine, claims Hippocrates

Whether it is depression, stress or anxiety, take a little walk for a few minutes, your mindset will gradually start to change. Doctors claim that those few minutes of walk will trigger some feel good hormones in your brain and makes you feel better. Walking exercise enhances your mental strength and physical strength at the same time is the truth.

Apart from walking, all other exercises ever invented would only fetch its benefits after a certain time period. But Walking exercise is not bound by such time frames, even a little walk that lasts for a couple of minutes would increase our lifespan by one to two minutes, claims studies.

People who walk for 25 minutes a day for a week potentially increase their lifespan by few years. Also, people who practice this exercise for 45 minutes a day regularly potentially reduce their chances for infections, cold, and fever by over 90 percent.

Women who walk for 4 hours a week reduce their chances for cancer by up to 50 percent.

Those who walk for 30 minutes a day regularly will reduce their chances of colon cancer by 35 percent. Additionally, they also minimize their chances of diabetes by 40 percent.

In short, if you want to live a healthy and disease free life, there is no exercise that is better than walking.

Going to Start Exercise all of a sudden?

If you are someone who is going to start exercising out of the blue, Hold on! Start with walking exercise. If you start with walking, there will not be any high levels of body pain. On the contrary, if you start with any other exercise, you are most likely to experience severe body pain.

Some workouts will exercise all the muscles in our body. Swimming for example. Similarly, walking will exercise all the muscles in our body. This makes it a complete workout.

When you workout at a gym or use special exercising equipment and workout at home, you will most likely to feel exhausted for the rest of the day. But, walking exercise doesn’t drain your energy. On the contrary, you will feel more energetic for the rest of the day.

One of the safest exercises for people with breathing problems is walking. When you walk at a normal speed every day, oxygen supply in your body will be enhanced. Additionally, when you walk in an open field like a park, or on the ground, your lungs function will be enhanced. It will also keep severe breathing problems under control.

There are age limits and restrictions for all other exercises, but this is not applicable to walking. Walking is a natural thing, so anyone can walk. Benefits of walking will vary with the age of the person, duration, and speed of the walking.

Constipation problem is practically non-existent for people who regularly practice walking exercise. We all know that constipation is a serious problem for many, even high doses of medications cannot permanently cure the condition for some people. Many of us are not aware that walking is one the best medicine for this problem.

Regular walkers will have a super strong back bone or spinal cord, and they will not have any back pains.

Modern lifestyle made many of us stay seated on our work for hours. There is no greater killer than sitting on your chair for hours. One of the best ways to deal with your sitting hours is walking. Take a break once in every one or two hours time frame, get up from your chair and walk for five to ten minutes. This will reduce the harmful effects of sitting down for hours.

Walking will enhance the functioning of brain and creativity. While we enjoy our morning walk admiring nature, it will increase the thinking capacity of the brain.

Men who have the practice of walking for a couple of miles every day will increase their sperm activity.

Walking reduces the chances for cancer to a greater degree. People who practice walking regularly halt the production and multiplication of cancer cells.

It is the best cure for Fibromyalgia, a peculiar disease that affects women the most and causes severe pain.

Regular walkers postpone their aging process, they have a possibility of extending their lifespan by 3 to 7 years.

It helps to overcome Pre Menstrual Syndrome in women.

Those who practice walking exercise from a very young age, reduce the chances for Dementia. A type of disease that leads to memory related problems.

It is one of the best-known cure for insomnia. People who suffer from insomnia or have difficulties with sleeping at night must practice brisk walk in the morning for 30 minutes.

Going for a walk early in the morning or in the evening will provide our body with necessary supply of Vitamin – D

Always have a specially designed and separate shoes for walking. Footwears can both positively and negatively impact your exercise. So make a better choice and make sure they are comfortable to wear.

Some parks have separate pathways paved with pebble stones. Walking in barefoot over these stones will stimulate your nerves and blood circulation.

People with Diabetes should avoid walking in bare foot.

People with the history of blood pressure, stroke, heart diseases should consult a Doctor and follow his guidance while practicing this exercise.

Casual Walking

Casual walking is when you walk in slow pace without inducing any extra strain to the whole process. It is more like walking at your natural pace. The speed limit for casual walking is suggested at 3 kilometers per hour. Practicing casual walking for 30 minutes a day would definitely fetch good results.

Casual walking is an excellent exercise for people who are recovering from a disease, surgery, and other bodily problems. It is also a great starting point for new walkers. It benefits all the organs in our body, it strengthens the lungs, heart, kidneys, colon etc. And also supplies the needed oxygen and blood to all the parts of our body.

Medium Paced Walking

This a is slightly intensified version of casual walking. Medium paced walking demands a little extra effort, as the name suggests, it is neither brisk walk or a casual walk. The speed of the medium paced walking should be around 4 to 5 kilometers per hour. This exercise mainly strengthens the heart, expands the lungs, and increases the overall capacity of the lungs.

Fast Paced Walking

Just imagine yourself skiing in the snow, but you do not have your skis on. You need to keep long steps and use your hands as well. You should be walking at the speed of 5 to 6 kilometers per hour. This exercise can be practiced by youngsters who can walk for long distances.

Walking for Competition

This is a special type of walking practiced by professionals. It involves certain rules and restrictions. Professional walkers easily cover 20 kilometers to 50 kilometers at ease. As this is mainly practiced by professionals with professional trainers, this type of walking better avoided by normal walkers.

Mountain Walk

Mountain walk is practiced in hilly areas where the walker would walk up the hill at a sturdy pace. Walking up the hill can make a person breathe faster which increases the pace of heart beats. If necessary you can a short break in-between. This type of walking should only be practiced by youngsters.

Snow Walking

This is practiced in snowy areas and snowy hills. It needs a special kind of shoes called “Snow shoes”. As Snow walking involves walking over snow covered land mass, snow shoes prevent digging the feet deep into the snow. Additionally, it gives a feeling of flying through the air. Snow walk is quite a fun.

Sea Shore Walking

There are competitions that involve this type of walking. Whenever we visit a sea shore or beach, we love to walk along side of the waves. This type of exercise can either be practiced in wet sand near the waves or on dry sand. Mountain walk, snow walking, and sea shore walking demands a lot of stamina and strength, so these must only be practiced by youngsters with good health. Additionally, it is always the best idea to consult a professional Doctor before deciding to go for any of these.

Why is walking the Best Exercise?

Jogging, running, cycling, swimming, and many similar exercises cannot be practiced by all. On the contrary, walking can be practiced by kids, ladies, girls, boys, men, and everyone irrespective of their age and gender. Also walking is fairly easy. Kids from 2 years of age to old people who are even over 80 years of age can practice it.

Walking doesn’t demand a special place or a court. You can walk anywhere you like, be it inside the home, on the streets, in a park, in a stadium etc.. Also there is no fixed time to walk, you can walk at almost any part of the day and still fetch benefits out of it.

In the recent times, there is a great increase in the number of giant supermarkets, hypermarkets, and malls. So people who practice mall walking are on the rise. Places like malls with right temperature setting and many floors are a great place to walk, pass time, buy stuff you need.

Walking is Inexpensive

You can start walking exercise with simple canvas shoes. It doesn’t demand any special kind of sports wear or gadgets or specialized courts like other games. Making it one of the cheapest exercises.

But it is not just cheap, it is also pain and injury free. Sports or exercises like aerobics, athletics etc.. involves complicated difficult body movements which are quite painful. Additionally, they are also more vulnerable to injuries. But walking is a natural exercise, you can enjoy walking without any pain or serious injuries. Even if the injuries do occur they most probably turn out to be very minor.

What are the Benefits of Walking?

So by now, we know walking is one of the best exercises. But what are the benefits of this exercise?

Improves Blood Circulation

Practicing to walk we breathe in more natural and fresh air. This improves the heart’s health. It strengthens the wind pipes and lungs. As it supplies the heart with the right amount of blood, heart’s muscles will expand and contract at a healthier rate. Also walking supplies our body with more oxygen, this will make the arteries and veins in our body to function really well.

Strengthens Muscles and Bones

As Walking exercise keeps our body healthy and agile, it helps us to finish any tasks with ease. Practicing this exercise regularly will only make you feel more energetic and less tired. As it involves working out hands and legs, it provides our body with much-needed flexibility. Sweat released during this exercise will make our skin glow even more. Walking not only strengthens the muscles, it also strengthens the bones underneath those layers of muscles.

Improves immunity

One of the vital things we seek for a healthy life is immunity. Immunity is responsible for fighting against all the diseases and harmful infections. Just by practicing to walk regularly every single day we can improve our immunity to a greater degree and protect ourselves from diseases and infections.

Keeps us in shape

One of the repeated comments we hear from people who practice walking regularly is, it helps them to reduce anxiety and stress. When we become free from these negative emotions, positive attitude towards life will start to sprout. Due to this reason, all the decisions you make in life will bring more happiness and success.

Additionally, walking exercise will remove any excess fat and toxins from your body, thereby keeps you in shape and make you look better. Looking better is almost equal to feeling and being better.

Some Quick Tips Before Starting with Walking

  • Always walk in erect position
  • Breathing in and breathing out sufficient amount of air is very important. You should not breathe from your chest level, your breathing should be from the bottom part of your belly.
  • Keep your hands and legs in a relaxed state. Do not keep it very tight. Hand movement must match the speed of legs.
  • You should not start with speed walking from day one or from the start. Increase the speed gradually as you start to walk. Most importantly do not compete with others around you. Walk at your own comfortable pace.
  • Mark the distance and time of your walking. As the days go by if there is any improvement in your stamina, you can increase your distance and time.
  • Though walking exercise is simple, easy, and natural, people who have crossed 40 years of age must consult a Doctor before commencing.
  • Always choose an open, airy, safe, and comfortable spot to practice the walking exercise.
  • Though you can walk at almost any time of the day. You should not start to walk immediately after a meal. Also, Early mornings and evenings are the best times for walking.
  • There are specialized clothes and shoes for every sport. Similarly, buy comfortable clothing and shoes for walking based on your affordability.
  • There is no need to buy any expensive clothing to practice walking. Any comfortable cotton clothing would be enough. You can have different clothing for different seasons.
  • Before starting with walking exercise, make sure you have a bottle of water with you. You can consume a little water whenever you feel like needing some.
  • Always carry a little cash and a slip that contains your mobile number and address before starting the exercise. If there are any threats at nights due to Dogs carry a walking stick or any other stick to scare them away.
  • Do a little warm up exercise for about 5 minutes before starting to walk. Also never fail to do a cool down workout after completing your walking session.

A body with the excessive amount of fat is prone to most diseases. There should be a right balance between our daily food, work, and exercise. Walking will definitely help you to achieve that balance.

All the best!