The benefits of short walks that we hardly care about!
It’s important to do regular workouts to build strength and endurance but taking short walks during the day has health benefits too. Studies show that sitting too long increases the risk of dying prematurely regardless of whether you exercise an hour or more at the gym each day. When you sit for long periods of time, it increases levels of enzymes involved in fat storage and reduces insulin sensitivity. This increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Moving around also gives your metabolism a boost. That’s why it’s important to take short walks during the day to reduce your risk of dying early and keep your body from going into hibernation mode.
Some more Benefits of Taking a Quick Walk
Leaving your office chair and taking a short walk as often as possible has other benefits as well. Many people say that taking a quick stroll helps to clear their head. There may be some science behind the stress-reducing effect of walking.
- Research shows that a brief walk, especially one outdoors lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol not only increases with stress, it also mobilizes fat and deposits it on your waist and tummy. Low-intensity exercise helps to lower levels of this waist-expanding hormone.
- Taking a quick walk won’t burn as many calories as running for 30 minutes on the treadmill, but a 10 minute walk at a moderate pace can burn 50 calories or more. If you take several of these strolls during the day, the calorie burn adds up. Short walks also help boost your energy level when you start to doze off and keeps your joints limber.
Stop! These are not the only benefits.. Many of us are aware of the ones said but… do you really know how it helps to keep you young?
- Keep your brain young!
Our brains tend to shrink as we age. But you could help keep your brain young and agile just by walking about a mile a day.
That’s right! In a 9-year study, people who walked just 6 to 9 miles each week preserved significantly more gray matter as they aged, compared with their more sedentary peers.
Steps Worth Taking : Why do we need a big brain?!! Because, it likely means more mental power. In the study, not only did the walkers have less brain shrinkage, but also that translated into a twofold reduction in their risk for cognitive impairment. What’s more, the researchers also looked at the benefits of physical activity in people already suffering from cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and found that a mere 5 miles a week of walking seemed to slow progression of the condition. So when it comes to brains, bigger really is better.
Although the study didn’t prove that physical activity was the direct cause of the brain benefits in the participants, similar studies have shown that aerobic exercise boosts both the production and the survival of new brain cells. So strap on those walking shoes!
- Take Short Walks to Live Longer
Looking for a simple way to extend your life? All you have to do is give your body 15 minutes of physical activity a day and you’ll win yourself three extra years of life. Quite incredible, right?
A recent study tracked more than 400,000 people for more than 8 years and found that just 15 minutes of light, daily activity, such as walking, makes you physically 3 years younger than your couch-potato counterparts.
When it comes to walking, a little more is always better. In fact, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 30 minutes of physical activity each day. By squeezing in an additional 15 minutes, you’ll likely live even longer and make your daily life a lot more pleasurable. That’s because:
- Thirty minutes of brisk walking (or any moderately intense activity) is a terrific antidepressant.
- It lowers your blood pressure — good news for the 89% of Americans with high BP.
- It helps tame type 2 diabetes, especially if you mix in some strength training.
- It decreases breast cancer risk by 30% and increases survival rate from a heart attack by 80%.
How to keep the motivation to walk or exercise regularly? Don’t miss the tips.
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