Walking for Health

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A daily brisk walk of at least 30 minutes has many health benefits. One of the most important is to help control weight. Being overweight is a harbinger of health complications, from heart attacks to sleep problems. Exercise and proper eating promote weight loss, and walking is half the prescription. The list of health problems walking helps prevent reads like the most wanted list, on a post office wall

  • Reduces hip fractures: Regular walking reduces the chance of hip fractures, by strengthening hip joints.
  • Helps control blood pressure: Exercise makes the heart stronger, allowing it to pump blood with less strain.
  • Reduces gallstone surgery: A Harvard study of women, from 40 to 65, showed walking reduced gallstone surgery by as much as 31 percent.
  • Helps prevent heart attacks: A 20 year Nurses’ Health Study of 72,000 females nurses found walking reduced the incidence of heart attacks by up to 40 percent.
  • Breast cancer and type 2 diabetes rates reduced: The Nurses’ Home Study also found walking reduced the rate of both diseases.
  • Walking increases the level of “good” cholesterol and decreases the level of “bad” cholesterol: Bad cholesterol clogs arteries which can cause a heart attack.
  • Reduce strokes: In a Harvard study of over 11,000 men a brisk walk of an hour a day, five days a week, reduced the chance of a stroke by 50 percent.

The benefits of walking are endless:

  • Moodiness decreases, and a feeling of fitness develops as sleep patterns improve.
  • Lifespan can increase as stress levels and cancer rates reduce.
  • Walking strengthens muscles, joints, and bones, thus alleviating back and arthritis
  • Walking also helps prevent osteoporosis, impotence, and constipation.

The secret is consistency. Walk at a brisk pace at least 30 minutes five days a week. In inclement weather, if possible, walk a set of steps for 15 minutes.

Find ways to take extra steps:

  • Trade some evening TV time for a walk.
  • Walk instead of drive whenever possible. Trading those short car trips for a brisk walk is healthy, plus saves gas money.
  • Park in the rear of parking lots, and walk the extra distance.
  • When finished with the shopping cart walk it to its intended rack.
  • At the post office park further away from the building.
  • When possible, park in the far corner of parking lots.
  • Make it a challenge to find ways to take extra steps.

Walking improves health, and the lifestyle good health brings. Don’t wait do it now.