Whenever you listen to fitness experts talking about exercising you will likely hear them discuss all kinds of activities such as jogging, aerobics, swimming, weightlifting and yoga, to name but a few. Whilst each of these have varying benefits, they also require certain physical attributes and a commitment from participants in terms of time.
Add all that up, and those who are less disposed to exercise, will more than likely see these as the ideal excuses not to exercise because a) They are physically unable to participate, b) They do not how to participate, or c) They do not have the time to participate.
However, there is one form of exercise that almost everyone can participate in, regardless of their fitness, how much time they have available, and it does not require any equipment either. Further, it requires no special skills as we have all been doing it since we were about 12 to 18 months old. We are talking of course about walking, something which we do every day, and most of us take it for granted.
With no possible excuses not to do some walking, there is no reason even the most sedentary amongst us cannot use it to get some exercise. No doubt even then some will be asking “How can walking possibly count as exercise and be beneficial for your health when you are moving so slowly”, and to be fair it is a reasonable question, so let us answer that question for them, and you if you are also wondering.
Walking Can Aid Weight Loss: Every physical activity burns calories, and that includes walking. By walking you burn calories, and the beauty is that you can control how many calories you burn by altering your pace, the distance, the terrain (flat or sloping) and the length of time that you walk. As you know burning calories is one of the most effective ways of controlling and losing weight.
Walking Improves Cardiovascular Health: Whilst it is obviously not as energetic as swimming, cycling, or jogging, the benefits to your cardiovascular system of walking should not be dismissed. Even by walking for at least 30 minutes a day, for 5 days a week, you reduce your risks of conditions such as coronary heart disease, by up to 20%.
Walking Strengthens Muscles: Although it has a positive impact on your leg muscles, it should also be noted that the muscles in your abdomen get a good workout too whilst you are walking. Stronger muscles aid your mobility, allow you to walk or even run further and decreases the strain on your joints.
Walking Keeps Joints Supple: The cartilage that exists in your knee and ankle joints receive their nutrition from fluids that only circulate when you are moving. It follows therefore that as you move when you are walking, your joints are not only receiving the nutrition they need, but they are also receiving more oxygen because your blood is flowing faster.
Walking Can Improve Mental Health: Studies have shown that in later life, those who walk regularly have greater memory retention than those who do not. Walking also has been known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Walking can reduce instances of insomnia and studies show that those who walk regularly are less prone to anxiety, stress, and depression.