Are you someone who believes that exercise is worth it, only if it’s running or gyming? Well, we have news for you! Walking benefits your health too. Research shows that brisk walking for at least 30 minutes can help you burn 200 calories.
However, there’s a catch to it. How many calories you burn by walking depends on how fast you’re walking. But, as per experts, even a normal-paced walk can have significant benefits. All this shows that walking is an exercise in itself. In this article, we unfold a few of the magnificent ways in which walking benefits your health.
But First, Here’s How To Hack Your Walk
Walking at a normal pace is beneficial too. But since the intensity of your walk usually determines its impact, here’s how to calculate your intensity:
– If you’re walking 80 steps per minute, it’s a low-intensity, leisurely walk. This is less impactful but definitely better than inactivity.
– If you’re walking 100 steps per minute, it’s a moderate intensity, medium-paced brisk walk. This is moderately impactful.
– If you’re walking 120 steps per minute, it’s a high-intensity, fast-paced brisk walk. This is most impactful and can help you burn a good amount of calories.
5 Ways In Which Walking Benefits Your Health
1. Stronger Immunity: 30 minutes of daily brisk walking enhances blood flow and allows white blood cells (type of immune cells) to wander freely in your body. It also brings down your stress and has anti-inflammatory benefits. All these three mechanisms- improved blood flow, lowered stress and inflammation help your immune system work better.
2. Fitter heart: Your heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood every minute. All it needs to stay healthy is a bit of exercise and no stress. Roughly, a 21-minute walk daily can slash down your risk of heart disease by 30%. This easy, no-cost exercise makes your heart fitter by regulating your heart rate and blood flow while pulling down your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
3. Better joints: Walking relieves arthritis pain by lubricating your joints and exporting oxygen and nutrients to them. You may even be able to protect your joints from arthritis if you walk for 8-9 km in a week.
4. Happy mood and sound sleep: Walking is the easiest form of exercise that can help reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and memory decline. It also helps you sleep better by increasing happy hormones and decreasing stress hormones.
5. Longer life: Walking reduces and even prevents the risk of severe chronic illnesses like diabetes, high BP, stroke, etc. It increases your breathing rate and helps your lungs flush out the toxins. It helps your body heal by speeding up the flow of nutrients through the blood. Walking may even help lower the risk of certain cancers such as colon cancer and breast cancer.
If walking at a fast pace seems like a challenge to you, start walking slowly. Stay consistent and try speeding up your pace with every passing day. Happy walking!
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. 12 Benefits of Walking. Arthritis Foundation https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/physical-activity/walking/12-benefits-of-walking
2. Walking for Health. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/walking-for-health
3. 5 surprising benefits of walking. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking