Walking is Good for Health

For normal healthy people, the general recommendation is for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day or around 6,000 to 10,000 steps daily depending on your age and physical health.  If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more.  You do not need to do all the exercises in one session.  For example, if you can’t fit in one session of a 30-minute walk, try doing three 10-minute walks instead. The most important objective is to make regular physical activity part of your lifestyle.  Start at your own pace and gradually increase the pace and duration as your fitness level improves.

Click to view PhysioMedics video on Why Morning Walk is Important

Health Benefits

These are the benefits of regular walking which can be performed by anyone at all ages without much risk of injuring themselves.

1. Improved Brain Function

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease.  It also helps your mental health by releasing endorphins in the brain.

2. Helps Eyesight

Being outdoors has been shown to reduce the incidence of short-sightedness (myopia) in children and teenagers.  It also helps lower the eye pressure in people with glaucoma and reduce eye strain associated with doing too much near work like reading or at the computer screen.

3. Reduces risk of Heart Disease

Regular exercise improves blood supply to the coronary blood vessels and prevents the build up of cholesterol plaques which can cause heart attack

4. Improved lung function

Walking encourages you to breathe deeply and improves your lung function and stamina.  Try to walk early in the morning when the air is freshest or in parks with lots of trees or greenery.

5. Improved glucose control

Regular walking improves the glucose level in your blood. People have diabetes will find it much easier to keep good control of their condition compared to people who do not exercise.

6. Improved digestion

Any form of exercise improves blood circulation to the digestive system and help with digestion and bowel movement.  People who exercise regularly and eat more high fibre foods do not suffer much constipation which reduces the risk of colon cancer.

7. Improved Muscle Tone

Muscles become flabby and weak if they are not used.  After a prolonged period of lying down or being ill in bed, your muscles feel weaker because they undergo atrophy (loss of muscle cells) from not being used.  This also occurs to astronauts who have been up in space for many days or patients who have had surgery and lying in bed.  That is why patients lying in bed after stroke or orthopaedic surgery are encouraged by their doctors to perform regular movement or guided physiotherapy program as part of their medical treatment.

8. Stronger Bones and Joints

Regular walking helps to make our bones stronger, prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk fractures when you get older.  Exercise also keeps your joints mobile and prevent joint stiffness especially when you wake up in the morning or during cold weather.

9. Reduce stress

Exercising in the open air is believe to improve your mood and reduce stress.  Walking together with friends will also allow you to socialise and enjoy each others company.  Organised walking groups improves self esteem and happiness.  

10. Pain Relief

Low impact exercise like walking improves blood circulation to the body as well as loosens up the spine and prevents muscle spasm or back stiffness.  Walking helps to improve your posture and keeps the spine supple and stable. 

F Frequency (frequency of walking)
I Intensity (speed of walking)
T Time (duration of walking)

Remember the FIT formula: Start slow and pace yourself so that you can gradually increase the duration of your exercises.  Usually 30 minutes or around 6,000-10,000 steps a day is sufficient.  Enjoy yourself and walk yourself back to health!

Discuss with your Doctor, Physiotherapist, Fitness Coach or Wellness Health Practitioner about Healthy Exercise

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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