So you've overindulged on your all inclusive holiday and now you're feeling a bit bloated and soft around the edges. The gym isn't your cup of tea and your bike currently has a puncture, so what do you do?
Walking is a simple, yet effective means of exercise. Plus you don't have to take time out of your day to incorporate it into your routine- just substitute it for other modes of transport where you can. What's more, walking holds a heap of other health benefits. And who doesn't love something that's multi beneficial and free!
CALORIE BURNING MACHINE
If you walked 2mph for 30 minutes then you'll burn approximately 75 calories. 3mph takes you to 99 calories and 4mph burns roughly 150 calories!
HAPPY HEART, HAPPY BODY
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of physical activity per day to derive benefits. These include:
Reducing blood pressure
Lowering levels of bad cholesterol (LDL)
Reducing the risk of developing diabetes
All three conditions are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The Stroke Association acknowledges the importance of walking; stating that 30 minutes a day can lower your chances of a stroke by up to 27%.
REDUCTION IN SWELLING (OEDEMA)
Your calf muscles are the main pumps that push fluid and blood back up the legs. Walking not only activates these pumps, but also maintains muscle size and strength. Include a hill to your walk to increase the intensity!
Simply getting out in the fresh air can boost your mood. Walking boosts endorphins which can aid in decreasing stress and anxiety. In mild to moderate cases of depression, walking can be an effective method of treatment ( Scientific American).