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Benefits of Walking for Health

Benefits of Walking for Health

Lifestyle has a significant effect on health. The world is facing the highest rates of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, and mental disorders. These diseases are connected with a passive lifestyle. One can avoid these health issues with a healthy lifestyle that includes daily physical activities. The human body is like a machine and machine works at its best when it is functional otherwise its parts tend to rust and get wasted over time. The same is the case with the human body.  For a healthy body, it is mandatory to have an active lifestyle and walking is the simplest and the easiest physical activity. In this article, we will take a review of the benefits of walking for health.

Benefits of walking on physical health

All the researches to date have proved the efficiency of walking. Walking has an effect on all-cause mortality,  cardiovascular diseases, weight loss, diabetes mellitus, cancer, backache, autoimmune disorders such as arthritis, and mental disorders. Let us discuss all points in detail.

1- Effect on all-cause mortality

Walking has a profound effect on all-cause mortality. Several studies proved the effect of walking associated with all-cause mortality. Studies have found that walking reduces the mortality from any cause with its multidimensional effects on the body. Walking reduces the chances of mortality from 19-30 percent that depends upon the type and frequency of activity. Individuals who walk about 20 km per week has observed the most significant decrease in mortality. Walking also increases life expectancy. Health experts recommend about 150 minutes of physical activity per week; 30 minutes of physical activity per day for five days. Therefore, give up your sedentary lifestyle today and make walking a part of your daily routine.

2- Effect of walking on type-II diabetes mellitus

Type-II diabetes is the most common type of diabetes mellitus. Every 1 out of 11 adults has diabetes in the world with 90 percent of patients with type-II diabetes. Walking is very beneficial for people with diabetes-II. A lot of research has been conducted to find the effect of walking on diabetes. Health professionals strongly recommend walking to patients of diabetes. Here are some advantages of walking for diabetics.

  • Walking reduces the risk of developing diabetes in adults.
  • It increases the life expectancy in diabetic patients.
  • It helps diabetics to balance blood sugar levels during fasting.
  • Walking improves the health of the lungs and heart in diabetic patients.
  • It is very useful for diabetic patients because it helps to maintain blood sugar levels if these are increasing. It is so because it increases the metabolism of the body.

3- Effect of walking on cardiovascular health

Various studies have shown the positive effects of walking on cardiovascular health. Walking reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood and consequently results in better cardiovascular health. Moreover, it lowers high blood pressure and body mass index. With the reduced BMI in the normal range, the vulnerability to many heart diseases is decreased. Here are some of the benefits of walking in improving cardiovascular health.

  • Walking reduces the risk of having coronary heart disease even an hour of walking per week is enough to reduce risk significantly.
  • It reduces the risk of Cardiovascular disease to a greater extent, especially ischaemic stroke. Ischaemic stroke is a condition when a clot blocks an artery that takes blood to the brain. This type of blockage results in a reduced supply of blood to the brain that leads to stroke.
  • 150 minutes of physical activity such as walking reduces the chances of coronary heart problems up to 19 percent.
  • Walking helps in losing bodyweight, maintaining normal BMI, and circumference of the waist.
  • It lowers the blood level of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is dangerous for cardiovascular health. It can form clots in the arteries and may block them. Moreover, it also results in various types of diseases related to blood vessels.
  • While walking lowers the amount of bad cholesterol, it also increases the amount of good HDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • Some studies report that walking also helps in increased muscle endurance.

4- Effects of walking in other diseases

Walking is a type of physical activity that anyone can do. It is suitable for people of all ages and costs nothing. But the benefits of walking go beyond diabetes and vascular health. Many studies during the last decade have proved the effectiveness of walking in cancer especially breast and colon cancer. Walking also plays an important role in arthritis, lung problems, problems related to the backbone. Moreover, walking is the simplest type of physical activity. This property of waking makes it the most common type because people with any health problem can adopt this activity. Studies show no harmful effects of walking in patients with cancer and backbone problems that are prominent with other rigorous exercises and workouts.

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Some studies prove that walking not only reduces the risk of many health problems, but it is also advantageous in reducing the pain of the lower back but yet more solid shreds of evidence are needed in this field.

Walking is the most suitable exercise for people who are intended to do rigorous workouts because it increases muscle endurance and capacity for aerobic exercises.

effects of walking on mental and physical health

“Only a healthy body has a healthy mind.”

5- Effects of walking on mental health

It is a common Latin phrase;

“Mens sana in corpore sano.”
A healthy mind in a healthy body.
Life experiences prove the validity of this phrase that only a healthy body has a healthy mind. If a person is not healthy physically, he is at greater risk of developing mental problems because the pain in the physical issues is the biggest factor in mental problems and mood swings. When walking improves physical health, it ultimately leads to better mental health. Adding to it, walking has many effects on mental health directly. Let us have an overview of some of these effects.
  • Walking improves the quality of sleep. If you are facing sleep problems. Start walking today.
  • It boosts creativity, therefore, if you are a person whose work is related to creativity. Go for a walk and you will find a flux of creativity in your mind.
  • Studies show that walking reduces the symptoms related to stress and anxiety.
  • Some studies suggest that it reduces the decline in cognitive performance in older persons and enhances cognitive performance in adults and children.
  • People with walking routines develop larger hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. These parts of the brain are associated with memory, curiosity, and learning hence walking affects learning and memory.
  • Effects of walking on mental health are more obvious in the case of walking in natural environments with greenery and water.

6- Effects of walking on personal life

Effects of walking on mental health are proven in my own life. I myself always increase the duration of walking when I am in stress or anxiety. Walking helps me in boosting my creativity and relieve my stress positively. Otherwise, frustration and stress from busy life badly affect mental health and man finds a peaceful to spend a good time. During walking, you have plenty of time to spend yourself and to think about yourself. The time that you spend with yourself gives you an opportunity for self-accountability and self-reflection. When you think about your goals during walking, you get many benefits. Firstly, you come up with new ideas that how can you achieve your goals and which strategies are the best. Secondly, it fills you with a positive aura to work and you become self-motivated.

Conclusion

Bring some healthy changes in your life and change it. Walking is one of the best habits that one can have. Make yourself habitual to daily walking. Avoid traveling in short distances and prefer walking. Walking in the morning is the best but it can be done anytime.

References

  1. https://www.c3health.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/C3-report-on-walking-v-1-20120911.pdf
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327946184_Health_Benefits_of_Walking_in_Nature_A_Randomized_Controlled_Study_Under_Conditions_of_Real-Life_Stress

About The Author

Tasha

She is a scientific researcher and freelance writer.

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