Do you think you need to go to the gym to lead an active lifestyle? Not really! Daily walks are useful.
The popularity of walks
Despite the good weather, fewer and fewer people decide to exercise in the fresh air. Today, walks are not so popular, and many people prefer to go to the gym.
However, there are very good reasons to quit the gym and go for a walk instead.
1. Walking helps reduce body fat
Walking is an ideal exercise for burning fat, as it allows you to maintain your heart rate (HR) at 65% of your maximum heart rate (220 for men and 226 for women).
Thus, it guarantees the use of fat as the main fuel. Moreover, unlike other cardio exercises, it maintains muscle mass.
2. Walking increase the release of serotonin
Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter in regulating social behavior, emotions, mood, and certain physiological functions such as sleep, food, and muscle contraction. Serotonin deficiency is associated with several mental disorders, such as depression and eating disorders.
Exposure to sunlight and exercise increases serotonin production.
This means improved mood and less risk of depression and cognitive impairment. Exercise reduces the risk of depression and dementia.
3. Walking increase the synthesis of vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed to maintain good bone health, immunity, and the brain. Our main source of vitamin D in the skin is as it converts 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 when in contact with sunlight.
So, sunlight is important to get enough vitamin D, and walking is the perfect way to get out in the sun!
Ideally, you should expose at least 10% of your body to the sun every day for 30 minutes without sunscreen.
However, it is very important to note that you should be exposed to the sun without sunscreen only during this period. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen for longer exposure.
4. Walking is good for blood pressure
Because walking is an aerobic exercise, it is an ideal way to keep your blood pressure (BP) within healthy limits. Research by Dr. Alvarez et al. (2013) found a significant drop in BP in children, adolescents, and adults after 60 minutes of aerobic exercise.
The Spanish Heart Foundation considers it one of the best measures to control blood pressure. In addition, the World Health Organization recommends walking at least 150 minutes a week.
The practice of aerobic exercise helps keep blood pressure within normal limits.
5. Walking help maintain normal blood sugar levels
This is due to the increase in energy expenditure and insulin sensitivity during the next 24-48 hours after exercise. Thus, it can reduce the risk and control type 2 diabetes.
6. Walking improve cardiovascular health
Moderate exercise, such as walking, improves myocardial contractility. This makes the heart work better and therefore stay in perfect condition longer.
In addition, due to the vasodilating effect, walking increases blood circulation reduces the risk of circulatory collapse, and thus reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains that you need to exercise regularly to reap the benefits.
7. Walking increases your ability to engage in physical activity
Walks are useful because they are free, do not require very good physical condition, and can be done anywhere and anytime. They increase your cravings for exercise. Plus, it means you can walk with anyone!
As you can see, walking can help you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy all its benefits. Now that you know what to expect? Take a walk today!
Picture Credit: VistaCreate