Why is walking one of the best forms of exercise?
Our team of Osteopaths address why walking is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise
When it comes to losing weight and improving our health, there is still the old fashioned stigma that walking isn't going to do “enough” to give us the benefits of exercise we need.
But the truth is...walking is the oldest form of human physical activity there is, and the benefits of walking are great!
NEVER underestimate the benefits of walking...and here’s why:
- Helps maintain a healthy weight: Walking can be just as effective as other types of exercise such as running, cycling or working out at the gym. If your goal is to burn calories, then walking may not indeed burn as many as these other forms of exercise. However, walking is far easier to stick to than going to the gym as it’s something that can be done from home; fitted in at any time; done on your own or with others; low impact; and is great for your mental health. And if something is easier to stick to, then you are more likely to reach your weight loss goals.
- Low-impact and easy on joints: One of the best things about walking is that it can help fight chronic diseases without putting you risk for exercise-related injuries. And according to some studies, people who are less likely to do other types of exercise are still inclined to take up walking, both for their health and for enjoyment. Walking is one of the safest forms of exercise, even for adults who are obese, the elderly, or those with existing medical conditions that might stop them from participating in other activities.
- Good for heart health: Studies show that brisk walking has beneficial effects on resting heart rate, blood pressure, exercise capacity, maximal oxygen consumption and quality of life. It is a simple, safe and effective form of exercise even for people who are older, have a history of disease or who have suffered previous injuries that stop them from doing high-intensity workouts.
- Helps address depression and improves your mood: All forms of exercise are beneficial as a natural remedy for depression and mental health as they release “feel good” hormones, including endorphins. And if you can take this exercise outside in the fresh air then it can be even more beneficial. Walking can also help with memory protection as you age.
- Supports bone health: Walking regularly can help stop the loss of bone mass as you age. The risk for porous bone diseases drops when you walk and move your body because you’re fighting gravity, forcing your bones to become stronger in order to support your body weight. This in turn reduces the risk for fractures or osteoporosis, which can become more common as you grow older.
- Can be done anywhere and is FREE: Walking is the cheapest form of exercise as it can be literally be done anywhere and anytime…plus it does not require any equipment (maybe just sensible shoes) You can even squeeze in shorter walks at work. Which makes it even harder to come up with an excuse to not start walking.