Walking can be done almost anywhere and anytime throughout the year. It is a simple and uncomplicated physical practice that you can fit into your lifestyle, always achieving effective results. It has always provided benefits, as it is a simple and appropriate way to exercise for people of all ages and it should always be a recurring part of one’s healthy habits. The benefits of walking for thirty minutes a day are one of the most effective and real.
This flexible activity can be practiced in most places. It is a free, safe, and effective sport that comes naturally. There are no special skills or training required. Despite these facts, fewer and fewer people choose to perform this activity by thinking it won’t do anything to them but guess what?
It helps hypertensive patients by lowering their blood pressure, strengthening their heart, reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and lowering the levels of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). It also increases the levels of high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol), helps reduce weight, and prevents osteoporosis.
Choose your style
- Low intensity, at a slow pace. This is the recommended way of walking when you are beginning, especially for those who are overweight, the elderly, and those in cardiac rehabilitation.
- Moderate intensity, most people who practice walking as a sport fall into this category.
- High intensity, the equivalent of a slow jog.
Remember that before starting, you must warm-up to give flexibility to your muscles. Rotate your hips in slow hula-hoop motions to warm up your waist, then touch the tips of your feet without bending your knees to activate the legs and calves (which will help prevent cramps). Finally, slowly bend your knees (as if you are giving them a small hug) and repeat as many times as necessary. When you are ready, it is ideal to start slowly and comfortably. Don’t forget to take deep breaths.
The Benefits of Walking only 30 Minutes a Day:
A Healthy Heart
Walking regularly reduces the risk of heart attacks and cerebrovascular diseases. Undoubtedly, the biggest beneficiary is your heart. In addition, it reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good cholesterol).
Prevention of Diseases
In addition to helping prevent heart disease, it can also help improve type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and respiratory diseases (such as asthma). It is also proven that walking helps with a healthy aging process, and prevents dementia by 40%, preserving your brain and memory in optimal conditions.
Strong Joints and Bones
Performing this activity under moderate sunlight naturally increases the benefits of vitamin D in our bodies. Which results in the strengthening and increasing of bone density, preventing diseases like osteoporosis. If that wasn’t enough, walking also improves joint health and reduces the possibility of developing arthritis.
Toned and Energized Body
Although it may seem that walking leaves you with less energy, the opposite actually happens: walking is a natural energizer that keeps you alert by increasing blood and oxygen circulation. In the same way, it strengthens and tones the thighs, legs, calves, quadriceps, and buttocks (especially if you walk on a slope).
- Set an achievable goal every day. Establishing a destination or goal will keep you motivated and keep you aware of your progress. Remember that if you follow a daily plan you are more likely to continue with it.
- Switch up your routine. If you cannot walk 30 minutes in a row, divide the time: 10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 in the evening.
- Listen to your body. Ideally, you will always feel motivated, but if one day you find yourself tired, dizzy, or in pain, stay at home. Performing physical activities when you do not feel good can make you feel worse. Listen to your body and walk when you are able to do so.
One of the most amazing benefits of walking is that is one of the best antidepressant. It is proven to improve one’s mood by increasing endorphins in the blood, which reduces stress and anxiety. And if, at some point, this activity begins to seem monotonous and boring, you can invite friends or family to join. This is a social action, doing it together diminishes any feelings of loneliness.
It is ideal to practice this activity three or more times per week. We recommend gradually increasing your frequency and distance, without straining yourself. Walking should be a pleasure, not an obligation. Do not take your body to extremes and remember that every step brings you closer to your destiny.