You may think that walking is an ineffective form of exercise if you’re interested in losing weight, burning fat or building muscle, but that’s a misconception that you may want to rethink. Walking is an easy exercise that anyone can do to start improving their fitness level, and the lower impact reduces your chance of injury. You can also include walking in your weekly schedule to obtain benefits that go far behind trimming the fat. If you want to maximize the impact of walking on your mental and physical health, make it a part of your daily life.
Walkers Are Creative Problem Solvers
Researchers at Stanford University released a 2014 study that proved walking increases creativity by an average of 60 percent. This is why Julia Cameron recommends a 20-minute daily walk to students following her Artist’s Way program, which is designed for writers, artists and other creative individuals. If you talk to many professional artists and writers, you will find that they get many of their best ideas while walking or performing other rote tasks, including washing the dishes or taking a shower.
If you make walking a routine part of your life, you may also find that you solve some of your biggest problems or make some of your most important life decisions while taking a walk. Your brain simply functions differently when your body is in motion, and you don’t have to power walk at incredible speeds to turn on that creative magic.
Walkers Live Longer
You may feel like you’re wasting time walking circles around a track five or more days a week, but research has proven that regular walking is an effective preventative measure for cardiovascular events. You reduce your risk of experiencing heart problems by approximately 30 percent just by going for a 30-minute stroll a few days a week. If you can walk faster or more frequently, then it’s possible to lower your risk of heart trouble to an even greater degree.
You may think of a heart attack when the term “cardiovascular events” is used, but walking can also lower your risk of experiencing a stroke and coronary artery disease. One study found that walking at least nine miles per week was enough to lower the death rate of participants by more than 20 percent.
Walkers Are Healthier on the Inside
According to the American Heart Association, research has proven that walking is an effective way to prevent health risks beyond heart disease, including:
Walking can also help you control your weight. This will lower your chances of developing diabetes and other health conditions associated with obesity. If you’re already significantly overweight or obese, losing 10 percent of your body weight is enough to improve any negative conditions already impacting your health or to reduce your risk of suffering inflammation, hypertension, diabetes and other life-altering disorders in the future.
It’s clear that walking is important regardless of your current fitness goals. If you want to see real athletes turning up the heat, try to catch up with an avid speed walker. They can pass recreational joggers on the track while burning more calories and protecting their body from injuries that come with high-impact forms of exercise. The good news is that you don’t have to speed walk to enjoy the many benefits of walking.
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