Walking fit for benefits

Don't take walking for granted, there are more benefits than you may know.

Physical exercise is needed in our lives but it is something we often overlook. Centers for Disease Control state that there are 1,440 minutes in each day. If we find just 30 minutes each day to exercise we could benefit our minds and bodies in many ways.

Walking is a low or no cost form of physical activity. Cost is important with many because of the financial issues most people face today. It is not necessary to purchase special cloths but it is important to be dressed appropriately for the weather at the time of your walk. If at all possible, walk during the daylight hours. If you prefer to walk in the early morning or late in the evening, than carry a flashlight and light colored clothing. Another feature to consider is walking with a friend, not only for company and encouragement but also for safety.

Becoming fit is the goal, so start out walking slow and build in length of time, distance and speed as your energy increases. Subtly there will be benefits that you begin to notice as you continue your walking quest. Here are some physical benefits of walking.

  • Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Raises good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Manage weight
  • Reduce risk of heart disease
  • Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers stress
  • Increases energy

Did you know that walking can slow mental decline? We often think that there are only visual benefits but while we walk there are other processes that studies have shown as mental benefits.

  • Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves mood
  • Allows time for meditation

As you can see there are many benefits to walking. It may not be listed as a necessity but it definitely provides lifelong benefits without great expense or equipment. Michigan State University Extension recommends trying to begin by allowing just 30 minutes each day of walking so you can benefit.

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