Benefits Of Regular Walks
We don't need a rocket scientist to tell us that people are not walking as much as they should these days.
Now, people think nothing of it when they suggest that one should drive instead of walking around the neighbourhood. Walking is now perceived as a stressful activity that one need not do if there is an alternative- that is a car.
Family physician, Dr. Femi Omolola, says even though today's technologies were designed to make life easier for us, the comfort they bring comes with health implications.
Yes, Omolola says that more people, especially those living in cities, are living sedentary lives that could predispose them to high blood pressure and other health conditions. The physician notes that walking helps the circulation of blood and other fluids in the body, reducing unnecessary pressure on the blood
He stresses that daily walk helps in building the muscles of the heart, which helps in lowering blood pressure.
He recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week to stay healthy and beat conditions from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and cancer.
"Walking for at least 30 minutes a day will keep diseases and doctors at bay, and that holds true whether you walk for 30 minutes at a time or break it up into 10 three-minute walks.
“As you walk, more blood is pumped in the blood vessels and other organs in the body. Food and other nutrients digest and circulate better when you are walking. And 30-minute brisk walking is what anybody, including those of us working in the office, can manage.”
In a US study of men aged over 70 with high blood pressure, the fittest were half as likely to have died within a decade when compared to those who did not do any forms of exercise.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Charles Faselis, says the amount of activity needed to improve one's health and lifestyles do not require trips to the gym. "This level of fitness is achievable by most elderly individuals engaging in a brisk walk of 20 to 40 minutes, most days of the week.
If you go from sitting at your desk at work to sitting on your coach at home, a short walk could mean some big health benefits.
If you're sitting all day during work, take frequent breaks (at least once an hour) for a short stroll around the building.
Waiting for inspiration to hit? Take a walk. Stanford researchers found that walking increases creativity levels during the walk and shortly after, producing twice as many creative responses as when you're sitting. You get the benefits whether you're walking outside or inside, so, if it's too chilly for a stroll, hit the treadmill or an indoor track.
Walking lowers stress
A University of Michigan study found that group nature walks lower stress, particularly in people dealing with an emotionally traumatic event. Research found that the brain enters a meditative state when going through green spaces -all the more reason to take a walk through the park after brunch with friends.
Walking boosts your immune system
A daily 30-45 minute walk at a brisk pace can boost the immune system and keep colds at bay. Interestingly, scientists say that walking can increase sperm count and help men achieve erection better. They found that a brisk two-mile walk each day can reduce men's risk of impotence, by improving blood flow throughout the body and the blood vessels around the groin.
Keep on keeping on! »
Jackie Appiah »