Starting a workout routine can be a scary idea, especially if it involves joining a gym and learning how to maneuver fancy exercise equipment. However, there are simpler ways to make physical activity a regular part of your daily routine. One of the very same activities you perform on a daily basis can greatly benefit your health when done regularly with the right form and intensity. It’s the easiest exercise, and you don’t really even have to learn it. It’s walking! Walking for exercise can have numerous benefits to your health. Here are some:
#1 Helps your heart
According to WebMD, walking briskly increases your heart rate, increases circulation and therefore delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to your organs. Walking strengthens your heart and helps in preventing heart attacks and heart disease.
#2 Reduces chronic pain
Walking–as well as any other aerobic activity–can help in reducing chronic pain. Walking for 10 minutes or more will cause the body to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers.
#3 Manages your weight
Walking is a simple way to get your heart pumping and burn some calories. Start out by walking slowly for 10 to 15 minutes a day and work your way up to a brisk 30- to 60-minute walk each day. According to an article from AARP, walking one mile can burn up to 100 calories.
#4 Encourages more ZZZ’s
According to the National Sleep Foundation, aerobic activity can improve the quality and duration of your sleep.
#5 Lowers blood pressure
Just 30 minutes of walking 3 days a week can help lower your blood pressure!
#6 Builds muscle
Walking can build many of the muscles in the body, especially when you walk with the proper form. Walking is excellent for building calf muscles, hamstrings, quadriceps, buttocks, abs and even arm and shoulder muscles if you pump your arms at chest-level during walking.
#7 Lowers bad cholesterol
Even if you are overweight, adding exercise in to your daily routine can help lower cholesterol. Moderate daily physical activity can help lower the “bad” cholesterol, known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and raise “good” cholesterol, known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Improving your health doesn’t have to be complicated. Something as simple as walking can help you look and feel better and reduce your risk for many health conditions. For more information on living a healthy lifestyle, or for answers to your other health questions, contact us today. Visit us online at the Medical Center of Plano or give us a call at 972-596-6800.