Health Benefits of Walking

Our bodies are designed to move and the health benefits of exercise, in particular walking, are immeasurable. Many people overthink exercising from thinking it’s too hard or to expensive to simply not having enough time in their day.

Daily exercise is a practice, particularly if you want the benefits of increased endurance, stronger muscles and a healthy body. It leads to many health care benefits too, including the possibility of a longer life-span and less money needing to be spent on medical bills. It does require discipline and forethought along with an overall lifestyle change.

However, walking is something everyone can do (and should do) on a daily basis. It is free to do and has many other benefits. Anyone looking to get their health care bills under control should add this activity to their daily schedule. Some of the main ones are noted below:

*Sharpens your brain function and lowers the risk for dementia and other brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This can lead to a more productivity at work, and a sharper brain translates to a higher income.

*Strengthens your bones and reduces the risk for osteoporosis, especially for senior citizens. This will increase their mobility, and lessen reliance on assistance programs such as Meals on Wheels.

*Improves mood and reduces stress levels. Walking may help put the brain into a meditative state as well. That job that does not pay you enough money and difficult boss become less stressful to deal with!

*Improves circulation which helps to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk for a stroke. It can lower (or reduce) the need for some of the prescription medications that many families can’t afford to pay for. Even just a brisk 30 minute walk a day will improve cardiovascular fitness.

*Prevents falls and trips by improving balance which occurs as walking strengthens and engages the lower body.

*Boosts memory as walking can heighten the workings of the hippocampus which is part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning.

*Decreases effects and symptoms of painful conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia as walking is low-impact and less stressful on joints. Fibromyalgia is a leading cause of why people file for SSI disability, the government assistance program.

*Improves blood sugar levels especially after a meal. In fact, a recent study found that even a 15 minute walk after a meal lowered blood sugar as effectively as a longer 45 minute walk in a 24 hour period.
*Walking also improves immunity as regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight which reduces the risk of certain diseases.

*Improves sleep as walking may help you to fall asleep faster and engage in quality sleep. Morning walks outside may also keep you in tune with your natural circadian rhythms.

Every single person can reap the benefits from the list above by engaging in one of the simplest, convenient, free and easy forms of exercise. The direct effect on your pocket book, in the form of reduced medical bills, is extensive. A healthy body and mind are priceless and worth the effort.

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