The long dark days of Winter can tempt me to feel like not even trying. Since Spring weather has arrived, though, I’ve been enjoying walking with friends, and it’s been such a blessing. It’s good for the body, good for the soul, and good for keeping up relationships. If you can walk, you should. Here’s why:
Walking helps reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia, according to a University of Kansas study. In fact, the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center has recently begun the most comprehensive study to date, on the role exercise plays in cognitive health. Walking improves overall mental peace, by giving your body an outlet for daily stressors, stimulating production of endorphins and neural cells.
The Journal of Psychiatric Research showed that walking even 30 minutes a day improves our outlook and reduces depression. We can survive, or we can thrive.
A six-month study done by Duke University has shown that walking beats running for prevention of diabetes. The walkers were found to be six times more efficient than the runners in usage of their blood sugar. Better glucose processing is easier on the pancreas as well.
Walking contributes to spinal health, strengthening back muscles and improving circulation along the spinal column, thus reducing back pain. The American Heart Association has recognized that daily low intensity exercise is as effective at strengthening the heart as is more impactful working out. Overworking the heart muscle is not advisable, and each person must know their limit. Low-impact aerobic exercise, however, is an excellent way to strengthen the heart, improve circulation and lower blood pressure. Walking also improves lung capacity, thereby helping to oxygenate the cells more completely. This is critical for cellular function, especially for detoxification processes. Accumulation of toxins is one of the leading causes of disease.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation has found that walking significantly improves eyesight, by lessening the pressure that builds up inside the eyeball when we sit for long periods. Exercise stimulates the visual cortex in the brain as well.
Our grandparents intuitively knew that taking a walk after a big meal was the thing to do. Science has demonstrated that walking improves digestion and elimination processes, thus lowering risk of colon cancer. According to research, it even improves the survival prospects of someone diagnosed with such cancer.
The Arthritis Foundations recommends walking to support bone and joint strength. Sitting can lead to loss of bone density, increasing risk of fractures and breaks. This is one of those use-it-or-lose-it examples. Like muscular development, when we demand performance of the body, our body miraculously responds by generating more mass to meet the demand.
The most productive walking, for weight loss and muscle tone, is that pace right before you need to break into a jog. The faster you go from there puts more impact and chance of strain on the body. If you’ve been sedentary all Winter, or since the turn of the century, start with a stroll. Something is certainly better than nothing. The more we sit, the more we mentally stagnate.
Homework for you…get up off your bum and take a walk. No one can do it for you. If you don’t have any get-up-and-go whatsoever, I can help find you some fuel. But you are the the driver of your vehicle; yours is the engine.
#ineedenergytoday #walkingforpleasure #whyshouldieventry