The 7 Wonders of Walking

Looking for something to do that will get you out the house daily and offer health benefits as well? Try walking. It is free, it is easy to do, and best of all, it can help you lose weight and keep you in shape. A short walk could mean some other big health benefits, as well.

1. REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART ATTACK AND STROKE

As we get older, our risk for heart attack and stroke increases. This is what makes walking or other forms of exercise so important. According the Physical Activity Recommendations set by the American Heart Association, walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week will help you meet your exercise goal and lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

2. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHOLESTEROL

If you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity walking or other aerobic activity done 3 or 4 times a week to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

3. LOWERS BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS

The American Diabetes Association recommends walking for 30 minutes each day, 5 days a week to reduce your glucose level. This is a valid reason to skip dessert and go for a walk instead.

4. IMPROVES MEMORY AND BRAIN FUNCTION

Walking regularly appears to help bolster the hippocampus, the section of the brain that deals with verbal memory and learning. According to Dr. Monique Tello, Contributing Editor for Harvard Health Blog, studies found that age-related memory decline was lower for those who walked more or engaged in other forms of exercise.

5. IMPROVES MOOD AND STRESS LEVELS

Dr. Tello also notes that walking and other forms of exercise can reduce stress and put you in a better mood. It reduces non-positive moods such as frustration.

6. IMPROVES SLEEP

Daily walks may help you fall asleep faster and have better quality sleep. Those that suffer from insomnia may benefit the most.

7. BOOSTS IMMUNE SYSTEM

Daily walks at a brisk pace helps your body defend against illnesses. Also, those that exercise regularly are less likely to get colds than those who do not.

Check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine.

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