Health benefits of walking

Health benefits of walking

  • Walking is the unsung hero when it comes to its health benefits. It is a great way to slow down your pace for a little bit, uplift your mood and is simply good for you.
  • Let’s take a look at the health benefits of walking.
  • Beat breast cancer:
  • Walking may go a long away in helping to fight breast cancer. According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women with breast cancer who walked on a regular basis had a 45% greater chance of surviving than those who lived a sedentary lifestyle. Yale backed up this study by discovering that women who exercised the year before they were diagnosed with breast cancer had a 30% higher chance of surviving.
  • Better mood and anti-depressant:
  • Daily exercise such as walking can greatly improve your mood and reduce symptoms of depression. It gets the blood flowing and promotes the production of endorphins, which bring a feeling of well-being. Routine exercise can give you a more positive outlook on life, and helps you rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
  • It is the best “anti-depressant”.
  • Better sex life:
  • Exercise can really help improve your sex life. It helps increase your blood circulation and keeps you fit. According to a study from University of Vermont College of Medicine, women between the ages of 45 to 55 reported stronger sexual desire and better satisfaction after exercise including brisk walking. Judith R. Gerber, PhD, the lead author of the study explained, “the less exercise they got, the lower their desire and sexual satisfaction.
  • Fibromyalgia:
  • Fibromyalgia, according to Mayo Clinic, “is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.” A recent study showed that women with fibromyalgia who walked for an hour a day showed improvements in mood, energy, and brain function.
  • Heart health:
  • Walking can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), which in turn can help lower the risk of heart disease. High cholesterol is one of the major factors in heart disease. It also helps strengthen your heart.
  • Helps prevent diabetes:
  • Walking routinely may help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar from the bloodstream to cells so the body can use it for energy.
  • With insulin resistance, the levels of insulin are not enough for the body. Dr. Andrew Weil explains, “To compensate, the pancreas secretes insulin in ever-increasing amounts to maintain fairly adequate blood-sugar movement into cells and a normal blood-sugar level.”
  • This compensation overworks the cells that produce insulin, and they become unable to keep producing excess amounts. That leads to higher than normal blood sugar levels, and eventually type 2 diabetes. Walking every day, especially after eating may reverse insulin resistance and therefore may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Stroke:
  • Walking may help reduce the risk of stroke, and fairly recent research supports these claims. According to the Harvard study, “physical activity, including moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, is associated with substantial reduction in risk of total and ischemic stroke.” Walking helps reduce cholesterol, which according to the National Stroke Association cholesterol is a major risk for stroke.
  • Can exercise be a memory saver?
  • Can exercise add years to your life?
  • REFERENCES:
  • 1. Hill, James O., PhD. “Walking and Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, n.d. Web. 8 Aug. 2013.
  • 2. Weil, Andrew, MD. “Insulin Resistance.” DrWeil.com. Weil, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 3. “Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 4. “Nordic Walking in Fibromyalgia.” Medscape.com. Medscape News, 2011. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 5. “Greater Survival After Breast Cancer in Physically Active Women With High Vegetable-Fruit Intake Regardless of Obesity.” Journal of Clinical Oncology. American Society of Clinical Oncology, 14 Dec. 2006. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 6. Irwin, Melinda L., PhD. “Effect of Exercise on Markers of Inflammation in Breast Cancer Survivors: The Yale Exercise and Survivorship Study.” Cancer Prevention Research. Cancer Prevention Research, 04 Dec. 2012. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 7. “Physical Activity and Risk of Stroke in Women.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 June 2000. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.
  • 8. “Cholesterol.” Stroke.org. National Stroke Association, n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2013.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I walk every day, I’m 55 and want to stay fit and healthy as long as possible. I stopped eating meat and dairy in April 2013 and have switched to an organic whole plant based diet. I feel so good, my IBS has disappeared. I still have insomnia but it is not as bad. No GMOs or processed food for me!

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