There’s no doubt about it, walking is good for you. It’s good for your heart, it’s good for your lungs, it’s good for the muscle and bone growth and it’s good for your feeling of wellbeing. Strong scientific evidence now supports the many benefits to health of regular walking.
Maybe you have heard the recent guidelines about walking 10,000 steps per day. How far is 10,000 steps anyway? The average person's stride length is approximately 2.5 feet long. That means it takes just over 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles.
Health benefits of walking
• Strengthens your heart
• Delays or prevents major diseases or illness
• Reduces blood pressure and the risk of stroke
• Reduces cholesterol
• Strengthens joints and bones
• Helps control weight
• Improves mood and self-esteem
• Contributes to "brain fitness"
• Gives you energy and a good night's rest
• Relieves stress and worry
• Improves balance and circulation
• Boosts immune system
• Increases bone density, helping to prevent osteoporosis
• Reduces the risk of colon cancer
• Reduces the risk of non-insulin dependent diabetes
• Helps osteoarthritis
How fast and how much?
A simple way to work out how briskly you should walk is to aim to walk “fast without overexertion.” You should just about be able to hold a conversation while you are walking - the “talk test.”
Even 10-minute brisk walks can increase fitness, provided that they are brisk enough. One study at Loughbrough University found that women walking continuously for 30 minutes 5 days a week had almost identical increases in fitness as women who split their 30 minutes into three 10-minute walks. Perhaps even more encouraging was that the short walkers lost more weight and reported greater decreases in waist circumference than the long walkers.
Compiled from internet web sites including thewalkingsite.com
Alliance for Biking and Walking