Walking your way to Fitness – The Benefits of Walking

 

 

 

 

Walking is the perfect exercise for everyone regardless of their age, shape, weight, or ability. The list of benefits from walking is longer than you might expect. Your body reacts quickly to walking, and you burn excess body fat, reduce inches all over, melt away muffin tops, sculpt and lift the butt, tone the thighs, and narrow the waist. And you can wave goodbye to bingo wings. Even more important are the many other benefits to your health, fitness, weight and aging that walking provides.

So let’s look at these in a little more detail, starting with health, which is the most important. Regular walking can help to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic illness, obesity, strokes, depression, and even some cancers. Read on to see how walking positively affects your health.

Strengthens the Heart
When we walk, we strengthen the most important muscle in our body-our heart. The stronger the heart becomes, the more effectively it works. The heart’s job is to pump blood throughout the body. When a heart is weak (which can be due to lack of exercise), it becomes less effective at pumping blood. A good analogy I use is to imagine a foot pump that you are using to blow up an inflatable bed. If the pump is not very effective, you are going to have to pump it up and down lots of times for it to fill the bed. Yet if the pump is powerful and strong, just a few pumps will push in lots of air but with less effort. You want your heart to be a powerful pump so that with each pump it pushes blood through your system efficiently. The other benefit is that a strong blood flow keeps the arteries flushed and helps prevents them from narrowing, meaning you lower the risk of high blood pressure. The more effectively your heart pumps, the more oxygen it supplies to your body and then you feel less out of breath and have more energy.

Reduces Cholesterol
Walking is a fantastic way to keep your cholesterol levels healthy, because walking at a brisk pace can help to reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein). LDL is known as bad cholesterol that can cause a plaque lining in the arteries, and this can lead to heart attacks.

Prevents Osteoporosis
Stronger bones are essential for our frame and body support as we age. As we grow older, we can be susceptible to osteoporosis, which is a weakening within the bones that makes them more likely to fracture and break. Not only does walking tone and strengthen your muscles, but it also strengthens your bones, because every time your heel strikes the ground it produces a chemical process in your bones known as the piezoelectric effect. The piezoelectric effect helps to stimulate the cells that contribute to building stronger bones.

Prevents Obesity

Walking is a terrific way to keep your weight down and help prevent obesity, which also can lead to diabetes and other diseases. Simply put, when we walk, we use energy known as calories, and this is how we can stay in shape. Nowadays, obesity is a huge problem, and the reason is simple. People move less and eat more! If we sit all day-at the desk, in the car, shopping online-the body is not using energy, so it won’t be burning calories. Instead, we start storing calories and gaining weight, and this brings on a whole host of problems. But the good news is that by walking we can prevent all these health problems.

Lifts Depression
A great way to improve your mood and reduce stress levels is to go for a walk. Walking stimulates the production of the feel-good hormone known as serotonin. Therefore, when someone is suffering from depression, a doctor will often recommend walking, because it is the most natural way to help lift depression.

More Flexibility
Walking engages lots of muscle groups. With every stride we take (and this is true for each of my total-body moves), we use a full range of motion (ROM) through all our joints, which helps keep them healthy and flexible. Every time you engage a movement through a joint, you naturally increase lubrication knows as synovial fluid, which helps keep the joints smooth and mobile. Again, lack of exercise has the reverse effect, which is why joint problems can occur from inactivity.

Faster, Stronger, and More Stamina
Every time you work out, you increase the fibres in the muscles, making them stronger and increasing their endurance. Your muscles can keep going for longer before they tire, and they can carry more weight as they become stronger. The results of this are that you will feel fitter, and you will also find that you walk faster.

Better Balance
Walking, especially when you are walking outdoors over uneven surfaces, is a terrific way to work on improving your balance. You’re naturally engaging what are known as the stabilising muscles, particularly around the lower legs, and this will lead to better

Weight
Burns Calories Walking can be an amazingly straightforward way to manage your weight and even lose excess weight The key is to walk at a very brisk pace, and with my walking workouts. The reason is that we add short bursts of HIIT (high-intensity interval training). We use HIIT when we increase the speed of our walk, so the effort feels more challenging. These faster paces are between 20-40 seconds only, and then we bring the intensity back down, I will explain more later in the book, but what you need to know now is that this has an amazing effect on weight loss, because it produces an effect known as EPOC (excess post-oxygen consumption). EPOC occurs when your body burns calories at a higher rate for hours after you have finished exercising. This can burn an extra 35 calories an hour and can stay at an elevated rate for up to 10 hours, so you can see why I get excited about this and why weight loss then becomes easy. That is going to be an extra 350 calories you burn even after exercising. This also applies to my total-body moves, as it tones so many muscles at once, and the more toned the muscles are, the more calories you burn.

Turns Back the Clock
Believe it or not, walking can turn back the clock. Exercising helps promote the hormone that is responsible for fighting aging-the human growth hormone (HGH). In our late 20s, this hormone naturally starts to decline, resulting in the loss of plumpness and radiance in our skin. So, as we age, our skin texture and appearance start to change. This hormone starts to retire at the end of your 20s! People pay fortunes to have injections which contain HGH just so they can improve the look of their skin, but the good news is that you can re-employ this hormone, and we do this simply by exercise. Exercise stimulates the production of HGH. Your body will then be producing this hormone back into your system, especially when you are exercising regularly. The result is that you boost your collagen levels, plumping up your skin, reducing fine lines and giving you back the radiance in your skin, whatever your age.

What Else Will You Get from Walking?

  • Toned thighs
  • Slimmer waist
  • Lifted butt
  • Increased calorie burn
  • Stronger bones
  • Better mood
  • More energy
  • Slimmer arms
  • Reduced cellulite
  • Less tummy fat
  • Melted away muffin tips
  • Banished bingo wings

 

These and all the other amazing benefits mentioned already are why walking is about to become your number-one exercise!