Walking for a least 30 minutes a day helps to improve your health by approximately 19 per cent. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, walking is an effective way to kickstart your metabolism and reduce the number of chronic diseases.
With health and wellbeing a priority for all of us during a time when coronavirus threatens the lives of people with a compromised immune system, walking is a great way to engage in healthy exercise.
If you’ve got kids that are not too keen on the idea of walking, check out our Nature Walk ideas for some inspiration.
And don’t forget, you can even convert your steps into sweatcoins which can be used to purchase all manner of products and discounted services.
1/ Weight Loss
Researchers at the University of Warwick in Coventry confirmed that sitting for long periods in a sedentary posture significantly increases the risk of coronary heart disease and obesity.
Walking, on the other hand, increases heart rate and burns calories to help you lose weight.
Participants in the study who walked at least 15,000 steps a day lowered their body mass index (BMI) and improved their health. Incidentally, 15,000 steps will earn you 15 SWC.
2/ Improve Blood Circulation
A regular walking routine helps to regulate blood pressure and enhances circulation. Good blood circulation is important for avoiding potential illness and disease together with helping your organs and muscles to function properly.
3/ Improves Blood Glucose Level
A study published by the American Diabetes Association discovered a 15-minute walk after a meal is an effective method of lowering blood sugar levels.
When you walk, your muscles use more glucose and effectively lowers blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work more efficiently, a benefit that lasts for hours.
4/ Boosts Your Immune System
Researchers at Harvard University found that walking for at least 20 minutes a day, five times a week, helps to ward off cold and flu. Workers that engaged in walking and other moderate exercises had 43% fewer sick days than co-workers that had less exercise.
In a time where Covid-19 can be fatal to people with weak immune systems, looking after your health is more important than ever. If you don’t get much exercise, why not make walking a habit. If you need an incentive, download the sweatcoin app and convert your steps into rewards.
5/ Reduces Risk of Dementia
Walking becomes more important the older you get. Not only is walking good for your heart but can also help to keep the brain in good working order.
A study published in the Annals of Neurology reveals that people aged between 55 and 88 have less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease if they exercise.
It has also been found that walking backwards can improve your cognitive function because it makes your brain work harder and faster. Alternately, work mind-enhancing moves into your daily walk.
6/ Reduce Heart Complications
Cardiovascular exercises like walking have been linked to improved heart health. Moderate exercise makes your heart beat faster without overexerting it, thus walking is found to be an ideal exercise program.
7/ Improves Gastrointestinal Function
Walking after mealtimes has been shown to improve digestion and other gastrointestinal functions. It’s far healthier than tanking cups of coffee.
Low-intensity exercise after eating play an important role in protecting gastrointestinal disorders. Walking helps to improve motility and blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract.
Some experts also claim a regular walking routine can improve bowel movements because it utilises core abdominal muscles and encourages movement in your digestive system.
8/ Strengthen the heart
Studies undertaken by researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that walking regularly can strengthen your heart.
The data indicated that walking helped to lower blood pressure by 11 points which are needed for people that experience high levels of stress and anxiety. High blood pressure causes the left ventricle to thicken and increases the risk of suffering a cardiac arrest and heart failure.
Another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine cited walking is better than vigorous exercise for postmenopausal women 50 to 79 years of age. Walking reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by around 30%.
9/ Benefits Your Mental Health
Walking regularly means your body gets more oxygen and helps to teach the subconscious mind how to breathe more efficiently. Deep breathes help to relax the mind and improve mental health.
The yogis of ancient India have known about the health benefits of correct breathing for thousands of years. Yogic breathing exercises are linked with better cognitive function and help to clean waste from the body.
Being active also releases feel-good hormones known as endorphins into the bloodstream. This gives you a natural high and helps to boost your mood and reduce stress and anxiety, which in turn, improves mental health.
10/ Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Regular workouts are known to improve sleep patterns. Vigorous exercise is naturally tiring and expends a lot of energy. However, it’s not only excessively physical exercise that aids sleep. Studies have shown that light to moderate exercise helps you to snooze better too.
In addition to many of the health factors mentioned above, walking exposes you to natural light which regulates your circadian rhythm and promotes healthy sleep. Walking also helps to reduce stress which can impair your ability to nod off at night.
An inability to sleep creates many of the health issues associated with walking. Therefore, if walking helps you sleep better, all your efforts won’t be for nought if you don’t have a good nights sleep.
The number of studies that show the health benefits of walking underscores the importance of light to moderate exercise. The UK Chief Medical Officer recommends adults should engage in walking for at least two and a half hour a week – that’s only 30 minutes, five days out of seven.
Healthy hearts and healthy minds improve your quality of life. Sweatcoin wants to promote walking so have created an app that works as a pedometer and counts your steps. For every 1000 steps you take, you earn one sweatcoin – and sweatcoin’s can be used as a currency.