How much benefit for your health do you think you can get out of just walking? In fact, the undeniable pros of regular strolls are enormous! It may surprise you how such an ordinary thing as regular strolls can help you become stronger, faster, and even more resilient.
The importance of oxygen for the human body can hardly be overestimated! When we are young children we are often sent for an outdoor walk. But as we get older, we spend less and less time outside, limiting ourselves just walking within the shop area, to and from the bus stop, or the car parking site. At the same time walking outdoors is extremely beneficial and regular strolls have a great number of benefits for our body and mind. It`s never too early and never too late to get yourself accustomed to this activity. Just don`t doubt that making up some time for a stroll is important at any age. And if it’s hard to make yourself do it, I hope you’ll get slightly motivated after you’ve read about the positive effects of fresh air on the body we are going to mention below!
Some people may be familiar with a situation when walking gives no visible result concerning weight loss. However, physiologists insist that regular strolls can still help you lose extra weight with two conditions that are to be met.
- Firstly, you need to walk fast – at least 6 km/h (120-150 steps per minute for an average person)
- Secondly, while walking you should keep this pace for at least half an hour.
This is the rhythm that triggers processes in the body. It is a mode when your body is ready to say goodbye to 2-5kg of extra weight a month. So, one of the undeniable benefits of regular walking is that everyone can get slimmer without additional exercises in the gym or rigid diets! Regular walks burn calories and a person begins to lose extra pounds.
Just for you to know, people who walk for sport or do jogging regularly lose up to 5kg of weight for every 25 miles walked!
Physiologists figure out two types of walking that are good for health: slow but long; or fast but only for 30-40 minutes. Let’s make it clear what ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ mean in terms of physiology:
Very slow walking – 60-70 steps per minute;
Slow walking – 70-90 steps;
Walking at a moderate pace – 90-120 steps;
Walking fast – 120-140 steps;
Very fast walking – 140 steps or more.
Prevention of scoliosis
Sedentary work in an office, which most of us do today, makes us slouch. When we walk, we have to straighten our spine to keep our balance while walking on the uneven city streets to say nothing about the rough terrain. To increase the beneficial effect, try to walk with your shoulders out to the sides and your spine straightened as much as possible.
The main benefit of walking outdoors is the positive impact on your overall health. Physical activity that we have to perform while a regular outdoor stroll strengthens the immune system, especially during cold winter periods. Daily walks improve heart and vascular function and lower blood pressure. Fresh ambient air helps plants produce phytoncides, which destroy tumour cells and reduce the risk of cancer. So we breathe them in when having a walk in the parks, or some green zones of a city.
Stanford University has conducted research that has proven that an hour and a half walk reduces the activity of the area of the brain responsible for negative emotions. Researchers noted that people who live in the countryside are less prone to negativity and depression.
Wiggling while walking is a kind of gentle massage for the tissues of the spine and joints. The more often you walk, the lower your risk of getting osteochondrosis and other unpleasant vascular problems.
Walking outdoors allows you to get enough oxygen, which is extremely beneficial for the entire circulatory system. Out-door strolls result in a slight blush, which makes the skin look more beautiful and the person looks rested and fresh. Improved metabolism and elimination of toxins, which are the results of oxygenation of the body, can also change the appearance in a positive way.
Stimulation of creativity
Scientists have compared the effects of walking and stretching exercises on brain function. They chose two groups of people aged 50 to 80. One had to do stretching exercises, while the other had to spend the same amount of time outdoors. A year later, the results were summed up using special diagnostics. As a result, those who walked had a 2% increase in brain volume of areas responsible for memory and activity planning!
One more experiment, recently conducted by scientists from Stanford University aimed to compare the level of creativity of two groups of people depending on the amount of time they spend walking or strolling. The survey revealed that walking increases creativity on average by 60%. In other words, “walking” people give out one and a half times more unconventional ideas and solutions than their sedentary peers.
By the way, legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs was known as an avid hiker. The “father” of iPhones often even preferred to hold business meetings on the go. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has the same habit.
Blood pressure regulation
While walking accelerated blood flow “massages” the blood vessels, which makes them more elastic. It also flushes out the bad cholesterol that causes strokes. Trained blood vessels are more tolerant, which reduces the risk of hypertension or hypotension for their owners.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends for most healthy adults at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both each week as part of a healthy lifestyle.
According to the results presented on 8 November 2015 at an AHA scientific session, giving up car use in favor of walking has had such a beneficial effect on blood pressure levels that individuals interested in improving their health may want to consider moving to a more walkable area. The figures presented in this report vividly show that the risk of blood pressure-related diseases decreased significantly.
Improvement in complexion, skin, hair, and nail condition
The complexion, skin health is directly related to the condition of the internal organs. So, how can walking help us look more attractive?
A gentle massage while walking not only reaches the vertebrae, but also the internal organs. It ensures an even flow of blood to the lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines. As a consequence, the organs are nourished and receive plenty of oxygen, and the blood that washes over them carries away accumulated toxins. So, walking becomes a kind of cleansing process! If you start to practice walking regularly the result will not take much to appear on your face. As far as your skin gets cleaned you’ll get rid of toxins quite quickly. Improved blood circulation will accelerate hair growth and make a blush appear on the cheeks!
A great chance to have a little privacy or to make the relationship stronger
All of us need to spend some time in loneliness from time to time. It helps a person to get ideas together, to go over recent situations, to relieve stress levels… Walking is an ideal way to combine solitude with health benefits!
Finally, walking does not have a direct impact on social life. However, the psychological state, which is strongly influenced by it, is very important for relationships with others.
Regular outdoor strolls will make it much easier for a person to communicate with people in your life, especially if it is done together. The health benefits of fresh air strolls are then complemented by an even more enjoyable time spent with loved ones.