The wonderful thing about walking is that it’s free and can be done at any time of the day. Once you understand the benefits that this simple form of exercise has to your health and wellbeing, you’ll want to be walking all the time! Just 15 minutes a day is all it takes to experience these benefits.
If you can incorporate walking into your daily schedule by walking to the local shops, the post office or to other destinations nearby, walking becomes a part of your life. You’ll stay healthier with what feels like little effort on your part.
Studies have shown that short and regular bouts of exercise have more benefits. It’s better to walk for 15 minutes every day than it is to walk an hour only once or twice a week.
The benefits of walking are many, please read on.
Your bone density is maintained
Bone density is maintained with weight-bearing exercises. Walking is not technically a weight-bearing exercise but by carrying your own weight during walking, this in itself is weight bearing. Walking contributes to stronger bones according to this study.
Better management of Type 2 diabetes
According to this study, people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes should “walk more, sit less and exercise”. The physiological changes that occur in the body with walking allows the body to manage blood glucose more effectively and minimise the incidence of diabetes.
Reduces depression and improves emotional wellbeing
Walking prompts you to look ahead, up at the trees and the sky providing neuro-psychological benefit. Even a short 15 minute walk lifts your mood and can prevent depressing feelings from emerging. In this study, “150 minutes per week of mild exercise was associated with a 22 per cent risk reduction of depression”.
Reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, cholesterol and high blood pressure
According to the Heart Foundation of Australia, 150 minutes of walking per week can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, a risk of heart attack and also a stroke.
Improves strength, flexibility and balance
As you get older, your strength and flexibility reduce which leads to problems maintaining balance. This will only get worse unless you start some form of exercise to maintain muscle tone. Walking will help you maintain strength and flexibility in your body.
To help build upper body strength, you can hold some light weights while you walk. By maintaining strength and flexibility, you’ll maintain balance which prevents problems such as bone density reduction and frailty.
Manages your weight
Moderate walking on a daily basis will help you maintain a weight range that you’re happy with. Moderate walking is about 100 steps per minute. If your goal is to lose weight, you’ll need to increase your pace to 130 steps per minute and go for longer walks daily of more than 30 minutes. For a more detailed walking regime to reduce weight, check out this article on walking for weight loss.
Keep your feet in good walking order – visit us for a check-up
Proper footwear, careful attention and professional advice will keep your feet in good walking order for the rest of your life. Your feet walk many miles for you. Regular foot care by a qualified podiatrist is an excellent investment in your long term health and wellbeing.
Our podiatry clinics are located in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. Call to make an appointment with one of our caring podiatrists to have your feet assessed for balance and walking style. The simplest adjustment in walking can make a positive impact on bunions, ankles and knees.