One thing that has been bothering our minds of late, is our inability to go out walking. There are various reasons why we don’t do our usual trek around our neighbourhood, and each week that passes by, we are constantly reminded that we’ve neglected this form of exercise; that is, until we found this video on “walking at home” on youtube.
Today is day two of walking – in place, for one mile, without venturing outside our home. You’ve got to try it.
The video features an aerobic exercise that lasts for 15 minutes, using every muscle involved in walking. We move according to the beat of the music, always walking without stopping. I must tell you, I walked a mile in our living room and I feel better already. As with other forms of exercise, when you start walking, you should do these three things:
- Warm up. Walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to warm up our muscles and prepare your body for exercise.
- Cool down. At the end of your walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes to help your muscles cool down.
- Stretch. After you cool down, gently stretch your muscles. Nb. If you’d rather stretch before you walk, remember to warm up first.
I read that walking for approx. 20 – 25 minutes each day can add seven years to your lifespan. As a matter of fact, other studies found that walking for two miles a day or more can cut in half, your chances of hospitalization from a severe episode of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Also, walking reduced the risk of stroke in men over the age of 60.
Research has also shown that walking 30 minutes a day may:
- Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis, and
- Improve your balance and coordination
Please note: walking each day has several benefits, such as improving sleep, supporting your joint health, improving circulation, and reducing the incidence of disability in those over 65.
Walking also keeps the digestive system going strong. I understand that a regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles which encourage movement in our gastrointestinal system.
- Helps you lose weight as well as maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
- Prevents dementia – older people who walk six miles or more per week are more likely to avoid brain shrinkage and preserve memory as the years pass.
- Tones up legs, bums, and tums.
- Boosts vitamin D – for persons who walk outdoors.
- Gives you energy – walking boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert and alive.
Walking also makes you feel happy and is one important way to enhance mental well being and to reduce stress and anxiety.
Walking triggers your body to release natural pain-killing (feel-good) endorphins, and studies show that a brisk walk is just as effective as antidepressants in mild to moderate cases of depression. Actually, the more [walking] steps people take during a day, the better their mood tends to become.