Walking 30 minutes every day results in wondrous health. Right from losing weight to controlling blood pressure and blood sugar to de-stressing or just pepping up our mood. Walking is like a panacea for all ills and the easiest of all exercises. There are numerous health benefits of including a walk in your daily routine.
Walking has a brain-boosting effect, reducing the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s. As a low-intensity exercise, it strengthens and stimulates the visual cortex which improves eyesight. As they say, moving your legs also moves your eyes. Another study also reveals walking as the best remedy to reduce leukemia.
As commonly believed that running makes your heart stronger; according to the American Heart Association, walking is no less effective than running. Daily 30 minutes of walk helps avoid coronary heart diseases by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. It stimulates blood circulation. It is also more effective in preventing diabetes than running.
Walking is an aerobic exercise which increases the flow of oxygen in the body and helps eliminate toxins and waste. It is great for your lungs because it helps to get fresh air into the lungs.
Stress and medication weaken the immune system. Walking reduces mental stress by releasing endorphins and stimulating the growth of neuro blood vessels. Walking outdoors is a great immunity booster as it exposes us to natural sunlight which protects us against flu and seasonal disorders. It is a potential antidote in winters. (Also check this http://www.natural-cure.org/health-and-wellness/health-benefits-of-vitamin-d-the-sunshine-vitamin/ )
Just 30 minutes of walk every day improves digestion and aids bowel movement, as it uses the core abdominal muscles which encourage movement in the gastrointestinal tract. A walk after dinner stimulates the digestive tract. (check out this http://www.natural-cure.org/naturopathy-treatment/naturopathy-treatment-for-constipation/ )
Weight loss is achievable by simply walking 10,000 steps a day; which is just as effective as a workout in the gym, especially if you add some uphill walk. It also tones muscles and builds sturdier bones and joints. 30 minutes of walk daily is highly recommended for arthritis patients, as it reduces inflammation and helps joint movement.
If you are stuck with problems, go for a walk, research reveals it’s good to get moving. A study in experimental psychology, reveals that walking sparks creative skills and improves cognitive skills.
Starting a walking program takes initiative. Sticking with it takes commitment. To stay motivated –
Set yourself reasonable goals. Start with a simple goal, such as 15 minutes of walk during lunch break. When 15-minute walk becomes a habit, set a new goal, gradually move to 30 minutes. Soon you could be reaching for goals that once seemed impossible.
If you don’t like walking alone, ask a friend or neighbor to join you. If you’re energized by groups, join a health club or walking group. You might like listening to music while you walk. Vary your routine. If you walk outdoors, plan several different routes for variety.
Take missed days in stride. If you find yourself skipping your daily walks, don’t give up. Remind yourself, spruce up, and get back on track.
To reap maximum benefits from your daily walk, you will need to maintain right body posture. Always keep your body straight, with head up and eyes looking straight and not at the ground. Swing your arms freely, back straight neither arched forward nor backward, roll your feet from heel to toe.
Once you take that first step, you’re on the way to an important destination — better health.
Contact Jagadguru Kripalu Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital for lifestyle consultation.
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by Pragya Sinha