Improve Your Body and Mind With the Benefits of Walking

The benefits of walking seem almost endless. As with any type of exercise, you can expect to experience:

* lower blood pressure * increased energy * ability to fall asleep quicker * overall improved stamina

In addition, there are many more incredible benefits that you will experience.

benefits of walking

The health benefits that have been directly linked to fitness walking are: 

Live Longer. Yes, you read that correctly! A recent article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that how fast you walk is related to your life expectancy. The researchers found that those who walk about 2.25 miles per hour faster lived longer than those in their same sex and age category who walked slower.

A study in 2012 found that 150 minutes of brisk walking a week could add as many as 7.2 years to healthy weight individuals over the age of 40.

Keep in mind this doesn't mean you will live longer if you start walking faster, warns researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski. Instead, Dr. Studenski advises that you handle any medical issues that may be slowing you down, such as heart conditions or obesity. For more details on this incredible study, visit EmpowerHer.

Increase your resting metabolic rate. This helps to burn off extra calories and keep them off permanently. Fitness walking revs up your metabolism and you will burn more calories all the time, whether you are sleeping or watching TV!

Because it is considered a low to moderate impact activity, fitness walking is easy on your joints and bones and doesn’t cause injuries as often as high impact sports like running.

Prevent or control coronary heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes. There have been many studies that have shown that walking can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, breast cancer and diabetes.

Improve your moods and reduce anxiety. A psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach studied individuals over a 20-day period and found that the more they walked, the higher they rated their overall mood, happiness and self-esteem. Other studies have found that exercise can help by reducing the symptoms of major depression.

Reduce the risk of memory loss and brain deterioration. In 2001, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, found that women in their seventies who walked at least one mile a day were less likely to lose their cognitive abilities than women who walked only a half a mile a week.

In 2007, researchers from the University of Illinois found that exercise, such as brisk walking, reversed brain shrinkage and increased brain volume in older adults, ages 60-79.

Slows the physical signs of aging. Exercise is vital to keeping your body feeling younger. It can strengthen your bones and improve your circulation. Keeping your body in good physical condition makes you look and feel younger.

Boost Brain Blood Flow. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital's Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas found that women age 60 and older who walked briskly three or four times a week improved blood flow to the brain by 15 percent in just three months.

Improved blood flow to the brain increases oxygen, glucose and other nutrients that are important for the brains' health. You can read more about this research and the benefits of walking on the brain at UPI.

Prevent Sight Loss. More research is needed, but tests done on mice show that moderate exercise slows down the death of light-sensitive retinal cells. Additional information on this exciting research can be found here.

Meditation. Use this form of movement to slow your mind and promote relaxation and stress relief. You can find a step-by-step guide here.

Improve Parkinson's Disease Symptoms. A new study has found some promising results for people with Parkinson's Disease who use fitness walking as exercise.

Study participants who walked briskly for 45 minutes, three times per week showed significant improvements in their aerobic fitness. They were also able to walk more quickly and with better balance. And, they experienced less stiffness than they had before the study started, the study authors noted.

Believe it or not, fitness walking can also strengthen your wallet and improve the environment! Here you can read more about these amazing benefits of fitness walking.

New research has shown that the amount of time you spend sedentary (sitting at work, driving, watching TV, etc.) is important for lifelong health.  Working out for one hour, then sitting the rest of the day is no longer considered a healthy lifestyle. Learn what to do avoid a sedentary lifestyle and how walking heals.

Wow! Are you inspired yet by the array of benefits of walking? Walking can help to improve your life in so many ways.

It is easy to see why fitness walking is the perfect exercise! You may begin to experience some of the emotional and health benefits of fitness walking during your very first walk. So, let’s get started!

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