Walking for Health
"If you canít fly, then run, if you canít run, then walk, if you canít walk, then crawl, nut whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." - Martin Luther King Jr
Walking has numerous benefits and everyone is waking up to the possibility that if there is no regularized period of walking every day, then a big chunk of their life span will be eaten away by diseases that range from cardiovascular disease to depression.
Benefits of Walking
- Helps in Maintaining an Ideal BMI: The body mass index is critical to staying healthy and it is a mirror of oneís health.
- Improves Blood Circulation: Blood circulation is improved when regular exercise, in the form of walking, is incorporated into an individualís life.
- Secretion of Oxytocin: The secretion of the hormone oxytocin, also called the Ďlove hormoneí, improves the mood of the individual and helps in fighting away the blues.
- Instills a Routine: A brisk walk daily sets a routine that people will get used to and begin to look forward to. This is especially rewarding for people who are at home as it gives them a Ďmeí time when they can collect their thoughts and get ready for the day.
- Keeps Diseases at Bay: Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke.
Walking every day is a must. However, the pressures of life and the concrete jungles that dot life in a city force most urban citizens to relegate walking to weekends when they can find their way to the park. While walking at the park is fun, the long commute to the park and the traffic snarls make it impossible as an everyday event. This does not mean that people living in cities cannot find their space for a relaxing walk, here are top 4 trends in walking for health that everyone should know.
- Hit the Stairs: This may not be suitable for senior citizens, but it is a great fitness regimen for younger people looking to lose weight fast. Popular chef and food expert Padma Lakshmi is believed to have lost all her post-baby weight by running up and down the stairway in her apartment. Care should be taken that knees are not hurt in the process, but stair climbing is a great way to lose weight in the thighs.
Initially climbing the stair should involve every step, however, over time and practice, two steps at a time should be taken. This will increase the intensity of the exercise and get the body pumping blood really hard.
- Mall Walking: Malls are mushrooming almost at every corner of the city and it is a perfect place to walk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S, has stated that mall walking is the perfect bet for senior citizens as it is devoid of traffic and there is no risk of seniorís wandering off.
In addition to the benefits of walking, mall walking will aid in connecting the walkers with people as they watch families spend time at the mall. This is a safer option than walking on the road, where the risk of being knocked down is very high.
- Find Your Way to the Museum: Every city has a museum that displays its history and the traditions that make it rich, but these wonderful places of interest are rarely frequented. They are almost empty most of the days, except for maybe rare holidays. So if crowded malls are not your cup of tea, then heading to the museum would be the next best thing to do. The long and spacious buildings are great for leisurely walks and they can be interesting too, discovering how forefathers lived many centuries ago.
Walking with dinosaurs will acquire a completely different meaning here; just remember to keep moving, though lest you are mistaken for an artifact.
- Places of Worship: While it is definitely wrong to disturb the devout, walking along the outer perimeter of temples, churches or mosques is great as it will be peaceful, spacious and invigorating. Many traditions include walking around the place of worship as a part of the ritual, in a bid to keep weight in check. Walking every day at a place of worship would be an extension of that.
Festival days and important days of prayer should be noted and walking on those days should be avoided to prevent being dragged into crowded processions.
These places are available in plenty in a city and if any of these are close to home, then walking there is the best thing to do. Most of these places have a good security system in place which keeps walkers relatively safe; there is also an absence of traffic hazards with help available close by. In the event of an emergency, there will always be people to help out. The air conditioning available in malls and museums may encourage more walkers to get into a routine. Moreover, window shopping can boost your brain health.
To enhance the benefits of walking, walk with:
Pet: Walking with a pet is a great stress buster, but it will not be possible to walk inside the mall with one, maybe in a ground outside.
Spouse or Partner:
Baby: This can turn out to be a great time for mothers to bond with their babies. Babies love looking at bright lights and colors and will enjoy a stroll in a mall. Devoid of vehicular pollution, this may just be a lot better for their developing lungs.
Walking is great for the body and trying out these new venues could turn out to be exciting and a welcome change from routine. Just make sure that there isnít too much money in the wallet when you are out walking at the mall. Otherwise, you could walk your way back home with a lot of impulsively bought goods.† Happy Walking!
- Walking: Trim your waistline, improve your health - (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20046261)
Latest Publications and Research on Top 4 Trends in Walking for Health
- Effects of aerobic fitness on cognitive motor interference during self-paced treadmill walking in older adults. - Published by PubMed
- Sarcopenia as a predictor of nutritional status and comorbidities in hospitalized patients with cancer: A cross-sectional study. - Published by PubMed
- Effect of abdominal Binder aftEr Laparoscopic Treatment on postoperative recovery (BELT): a randomized controlled trial. - Published by PubMed
- Reproducibility of Different Methodologies to Calculate Oxygen Consumption and Oxygen Cost During Walking in Chronic Stroke Survivors. - Published by PubMed
- [Effects of a physical exercise programme on the risk of falls, balance, and walking speed in older people with intellectual disabilities]. - Published by PubMed