More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates said, “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” It might seem too simple to be true, but when it comes to improving your overall health, all you really need to do is to get walking. Here’s why!
Walking is the Perfect Form of Moderate Exercise
Not everyone was born an athlete, and finding a form of exercise that isn’t intimidating to the average person can put some people off moving their bodies. There are no excuses when it comes to walking. As it is low impact, it can pretty much be done anywhere and anytime, and there is minimal risk of injury.
Walking Reduces the Risk of Illness
All you need to do is 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week to improve your cardiac health, reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and lower the risk of stroke. Regular walking has also been linked to an improvement in cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress.
Walking is Good for your Mental Health
No matter when or where you walk, taking 30 minutes to move your body in such a gentle way can be the perfect break from the demands and stresses of daily life, making it perfect for minimising stress and anxiety.
Walking Can Be Done By People of all Ages and Stages of Health
As a moderate form of exercise that can be done at your own pace, walking is ideal for people who are recovering from injuries, the elderly, and the very young as a way to move without too much impact. It is a very natural and comfortable way to move for most people (we have been doing it since we were around 12 months old, afterall!), it doesn’t require learning a special technique, and every step that is taken throughout the day counts towards overall improved health.
Walking is Cheap and Convenient
It is possible to squeeze in walking at any time of day - take to the street during your lunch break in the city, get out onto the roads in your neighbourhood before or after work, take to the countryside on weekends, or even just walk up and down the stairs in your home or office building to sneak in the steps you need to stay strong and healthy. No fancy equipment required - though the treadmill at the gym is also an option if you can’t get outside, or even a walk through your local shopping centre if the weather is bad.
Walking Helps you to Lose Weight
As a form of exercise, walking can help to burn the calories you need to kick-start your weight loss efforts. For people who are overweight, walking is a gentle way to get into the habit of moving the body without it being difficult or stressful.
Walking Makes you Happy
Not only is walking a form of exercise that can be done so simply and easily, it can also be done on your own or in the company of others. This makes it motivational no matter what your personality type. If you prefer solitary exercise, simply pop in your headphones and listen to your favourite tunes while stepping your way to health, or if you prefer the companionship of others to stay motivated to move, then get together with a friend and use the time to walk while also catching up.
As with all forms of exercise, it is a good idea to check with your health practitioner before starting on a new exercise routine. Talk to your physiotherapist who can help you to get started walking in a way that is safe depending on your injury that is being treated. There is no doubt they will encourage you to take on this easy, cheap, convenient and fun form of exercise - it really is too good not too!