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Did you know that walking is one of the most democratic and easy-to-do physical activities that exists? It does not require skill and physical conditioning, it has no age restriction, it can be done at any time of the day, alone or in a group, in addition to having a low cost, it can be performed almost everywhere: at home on the treadmill, on the way to college or for work, in the neighborhood square and etc. You will only need a good pair of sneakers and provision.

In addition to improving physical fitness and helping with weight control, this aerobic exercise can provide several benefits for our physical and mental health. However, to obtain good results it is necessary that the walk is practiced regularly and accompanied by a healthy diet.

Here are some benefits that walking can offer to your health:

Makes the lung more efficient

The lung is also very beneficial when we walk. The gas exchanges that occur in this organ become more powerful when we walk frequently. This causes a greater amount of impurities to leave the lung, leaving it more free of phlegm and dust.

The practice of walking, if advised by a doctor, can also help to dilate the bronchi and prevent some inflammation in the airways, such as bronchitis. In some simpler cases, it has the same effect as a bronchial dilating syrup.

Fights osteoporosis

The impact of the feet with the ground has a beneficial effect on the bones. The compression of the leg bones, and the movement of the entire skeleton during a walk causes a greater amount of electrical stimuli in our bones, called piezoelectric. This stimulus facilitates the absorption of calcium, making bones more resistant and less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.

In the early phase of bone loss, walking is a good way to strengthen bones. Even so, when the condition is already osteoporosis, walking often can slow the progression of the disease.

Keep depression away

During the walk, our body releases a greater amount of endorphin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, responsible for the feeling of joy and relaxation. When a person starts exercising, he automatically produces endorphins.

After a while, you need to practice even more exercises to feel the beneficial effect of the hormone. Starting to walk is the beginning of a vicious circle. The more you walk, the more endorphins your body produces, which gives you more cheer. This relaxation also makes you prepared to spend more and more time walking.


Increases the feeling of well-being

A short walk in green areas, such as parks and gardens, can significantly improve mental health, bringing benefits to mood and self-esteem, according to a study by the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

Comparing data from 1,200 people of different ages, genders and mental health status, the researchers found that those who engaged in outdoor hiking and also cycling, gardening, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding and agriculture, had positive effects in relation to mood and self-esteem, even if these activities were practiced for only a few minutes a day.

Makes the brain healthier

Walking daily is a great exercise to get your body in shape, improve health and delay aging. However, a new study from the University of Illinois, in the United States, shows that this anti-aging effect of exercise may also be possible in relation to the brain, by increasing its circuits and reducing the risks of memory and attention problems. The stimuli we receive when we walk increase our coordination and make our brain capable of responding to more and more stimuli, be they visual, tactile, sound and olfactory.

Another study by the University of Pittsburgh, states that people who walk an average of 10 kilometers a week have half the risk of having a decrease in brain volume. This can be a decisive factor in preventing various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which slowly kills brain cells.

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Decreases drowsiness

Walking during the day causes our body to spike in the production of stimulating substances, such as adrenaline. This substance makes the body more willing during the hours following exercise. In addition, walking improves the quality of sleep at night.

As the whole body starts to waste energy during a walk, our body falls asleep more quickly at the end of the day. Therefore, few people who walk frequently have insomnia and, consequently, do not have drowsiness the next day.

Keeps weight in balance and loses weight

This is perhaps the most famous benefit of walking. Of course, walking gets thinner. If you are used to spending a certain amount of energy and start walking, your body will have a higher caloric demand that causes a burning of localized fats.

And the role of walking in weight loss does not stop there. Researchers at Yale University, in the United States, showed that even hours after exercise, a person continues to lose weight due to the acceleration of metabolism caused by increased circulation, breathing and muscle activity.

The conclusion was that athletes’ muscles constantly convert more energy to heat than those of sedentary individuals. This is because those who do intensive resistance training, such as walking, have a more accelerated metabolism.

Protects against strokes and heart attacks

Those who walk keep their health protected from cardiovascular diseases. By helping to control blood pressure, walking is a protective factor against stroke and heart attack. The vessels are more elastic and more likely to expand when there is an obstruction. This prevents the arteries from stopping carrying blood or clogging.

Walking also regulates cholesterol levels in the body. It acts both in decreasing the production of bad fats in the body, which are easier to accumulate on the walls of blood vessels and therefore cause strokes and heart attacks, and in increasing the production of HDL, better known as good cholesterol.

In order to have real health benefits, it is important that the walk is done on a regular basis and is accompanied by good eating habits, as this is how it is possible to stay healthy.

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