Staying active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is the key to good health and longevity. Walking is one of the best exercises ever as one can decide the pace and intensity as per the body’s capability.
Whether it’s a brisk walk in the morning or a stroll post lunch, every step counts and helps you move towards a healthier body and mind. As technology has taken over our world and everything is available at the doorsteps, there are lesser opportunities to venture outside and stay active. Sitting for 10 hours or more can be a silent trigger for many lifestyle related diseases be it cardiovascular illness, hypertension, diabetes or joint disorders. (Also read: What is silent walking? Know its benefits and how to practise it)
Take a Walk Outdoor is celebrated every year on January 20 to motivate people to get out of their houses and walk outdoor. Walking not only reduces risk of chronic diseases, but can also boost mental health. A new study on walking suggests that brisk walking can multiply health benefits and further reduce chances of dementia, heart disease, cancer and even premature death. Walking during pregnancy can offer numerous benefits for both the expecting mother and the unborn child.
1. Cardiovascular health:
Regular walking strengthens the heart, improves circulation, and helps manage blood pressure. It contributes to a healthier cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart disease.
2. Weight management:
Walking is a moderate aerobic exercise that aids in weight maintenance or loss by burning calories. It’s accessible to people of different fitness levels and can be easily incorporated into daily routines.
3. Mood enhancement:
Physical activity, including walking, triggers the release of endorphins, which are known as ‘feel-good’ hormones. This can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting a positive mood.
4. Joint health:
Walking is a low-impact exercise that’s gentle on the joints. It helps improve joint flexibility and reduces the risk of conditions like arthritis.
5. Bone density:
Weight-bearing activities, such as walking, support bone health and can help prevent conditions like osteoporosis by promoting bone density.
6. Improved digestion:
Regular movement, including walking, aids in digestion by promoting the smooth functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
7. Enhanced immune function:
Moderate exercise, like walking, has been linked to improved immune system function, helping the body defend against illnesses and infections.
8. Better sleep:
Regular physical activity, including walking, can contribute to better sleep quality. It helps regulate sleep patterns and promotes restful sleep.
9. Increased energy levels:
Walking boosts circulation and oxygen flow, providing an energy boost. It can combat feelings of fatigue and enhance overall vitality.
10. Social connection:
Walking can be a social activity, fostering connections with friends, family, or walking groups. Social interactions contribute to mental and emotional well-being.
Ways to improve your step count everyday
1. Set realistic goals: Start with achievable step goals and gradually increase them over time. This helps build consistency and prevents burnout.
2. Take short walk breaks: Incorporate short walks into your daily routine. Instead of long sedentary periods, take brief walks around the office or your home.
3. Use a pedometer or fitness tracker: Track your steps with a pedometer or a fitness tracker. Seeing your progress can motivate you to reach and surpass your step goals.
4. Take the stairs: Opt for stairs instead of elevators whenever possible. Climbing stairs is an effective way to increase your step count and engage different muscle groups.
5. Walk during phone calls: Use phone calls as an opportunity to move. Whether at home or at work, pace around or take a stroll while on the phone.
6. Schedule regular walks: Plan dedicated walking time into your daily schedule. Whether it’s a morning stroll, a lunchtime walk, or an evening walk, consistency is key.
7. Explore new routes: Make walking more interesting by exploring different routes. This can be in your neighbourhood, a nearby park, or a scenic trail. Changing scenery can keep things fresh and exciting.
8. Join a walking group: Consider joining a walking group or finding a walking buddy. Having a social component can make walking more enjoyable and help you stay committed to your step goals.