Walking is our most common activity. We take it for granted, unless or until we face any physical challenges. According to one French study, we must begin to pay more attention to the benefits of walking, especially as we age.

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Benefits of walking

A study showed that daily 15-minute walks reduced mortality rates by 22% in people aged over 65 years. The longer and the more frequent walks, the higher the result.

Lead researcher said the following: "Age is not an excuse for lack of physical exercises. It is well established that regular physical activity produces a better overall health effect than any medical treatment. But unfortunately less than half of the elderly people reach the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of moderately intense or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. "

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

The findings of this research are not new. The influence of walking on various aspects of human life has long been studied by scientists. There are people who do not consider walking as aerobics and therefore do not take into consideration its useful properties. “Aerobic" physical exercises stimulate the frequency of heartbeat and respiration, pumping additional oxygen to the muscles. Even walking slowly helps achieve this. The faster you go, the more “aerobic” the activity becomes.

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In case of increased cardiovascular, respiratory and circulatory activity, nutrients are sent to where they are needed, so, instead of being deposited in the form of fat or other substances, energy is exerted, and your organs, muscles and bones become stronger. Our bodies are made for movement.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Without a doubt, a sedentary lifestyle lacking physical exertion leads to illnesses. A low level of physical activity gave a name such medical concept as sedentary syndrome. It is regarded as the main burden on public health, since it contributes to the emergence of a variety of chronic diseases and millions of premature deaths each year.

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A 2016 study found that increasing the length of walks for obese children to 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, increases the vital capacity of their lungs in just 6 weeks. In addition, interval training is needed not only for highly effective aerobic exertion. Alternating high-speed walking with slow walking improves the level of your physical fitness more effectively than walking at a constant pace.

Walking outdoors is particularly beneficial for mental health. The natural environment (away from electronic devices and other distractions) improves mood, reduces stress, and reduces the level of depression.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Sunlight supplies the body with the valuable vitamin D, the deficit of which is almost an epidemic in the modern industrial world. Walking indoors is almost as good. A recent study by Stanford University researchers found that walking on a treadmill looking at a wall grants almost the same productive impact as walking outdoors. Inside or outside, walking is significantly better than sitting for levels of mental activity.

Regular walking improves mobility and reduces the risk of illnesses. Any physical activity that gives work for our legs, including walking, strengthens bones and connective tissue, increasing the supply of blood and nutrients. Experts recommend walking not only for these reasons. "If you do not walk, the joints are deprived of life-giving fluid, which can speed up their wear and tear," they say.

The American Association of Cardiologists advocates walking as a means to reduce the risk of hypertension, elevated cholesterol levels, stroke and diabetes. It recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day and, as a total, at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of intense activity per week in order to exercise the protective effect of physical activity. Training (basic walking) does not have to be done all at once: two 15-minute walks are as good as one 30-minute walk. You can start slowly and work out your own pace and continue.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

And this is not all the useful properties of walking: Is it difficult for you to fall asleep? Take a walk. Recently, the Sleep Foundation checked the results of one study and reported: "... a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (walking, for example) reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and prolongs the length of sleep in people with chronic insomnia in comparison with the night when such training was not carried out. " This is a really impressive result after just one walk.

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Meta-analysis of walking studies conducted in 7 countries with an average duration of 11 years revealed that regular walking reduces the number of cardiovascular complications by 31% and reduces the risk of death by 32%. Only 5.5 miles (8.85 km) of walking a week at a speed of 2 miles per hour (3.22 km / h) will protect you from most dangerous diseases. Not every person can exercise in the gym or run up 10 flights of stairs, but most of us can just start walking. All of the above-mentioned properties are worth taking small daily walks. All you need is a good pair of shoes and 15 minutes a day. Can you find time for this?

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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