Take a walk, man.
From the 12-3-30 workout a TikTok girlie fave to complicated menstrual cycle-syncing workout plans, there’s no shortage of trendy fitness regimens competing to get you in shape in the coming new year.
But, experts say, don’t overlook the basics as in, a good, old-fashioned walk around the block.
Walking is one of the easiest, most affordable, and most effective types of physical activity people can do, Mayo Clinic cardiologist Francisco Lpez-Jimnez told Vogue.com.
Best of all, you don’t need someone making a TikTok video to teach you how to make a decent pair of shoes.
The benefits of a morning walk
According to Vogue.com, one of the most Googled questions, ever, is: “What happens when I walk every morning?”
Good thing, say those in the know.
Walking every morning reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure and LDL (the bad cholesterol), and strengthens the heart, says Dalia McCoy, family medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. Walking helps the heart to perform better. As your fitness improves, your heart becomes more efficient with each pump you make for that type of exercise.
Other benefits, McCoy told a reporter include reducing stress, helping with weight loss and boosting your immune system, without taxing your joints too much, as walking is called a low-impact exercise. And then there are bigger benefits, like reducing your cancer risk.
Some studies show that doing two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as walking, can help reduce the risk of certain cancers such as colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, liver, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma,” McCoy said.
The best time to go for a walk
Another popular question is, “When is the best time to go for a walk?”
There’s really no perfect time, McCoy says, but doctors prefer evenings, because exercise can help improve sleep quality.
If we can choose, sunrises and sunsets have some added benefits, explains biologist and scientist Tamara Pazos.
It will match the circadian rhythms in other parts of the body’s organs. Our whole body works in a rhythmic way according to our routine, keeping us active during daylight hours and relaxed to allow a good night’s rest,” said Pazos.
Walking to improve your mental health
The negative mental and physical effects deskbound workers experience are so widely documented that a brisk walk at any time of the day can be a huge help, starting with the fact that it gets your endorphins going .
Walking can help, because it increases your heart rate, reduces your stress levels, and reduces your chances of developing additional diseases such as stroke, broken heart syndrome, or cardiomyopathy, says McCoy.
How many steps are enough steps?
Everyone wants to know how many steps they should take each day. Well, that depends on the person, doctors say.
If you’re between 25 and 30, walking 6,000 steps a day is probably too little, while for an 85-year-old person, walking 5,000 steps is incredible, Lpez-Jimnez says. The important thing is that walking is part of your daily routine. Take the stairs, walk the dog, or park your car away from the store entrance.”
All you need is 15-20 minutes a day.
Can walking help your blood sugar?
“Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day, from high to low, as our body tries to control the amount of insulin we need. Our goal is to try to keep sugar levels constant in the blood, which can help us avoid feeling thirsty and tired after a meal,” says McCoy.
A way to do that? A short walk after you eat.
Even people with diabetes may notice that their blood sugar levels are more stable,” says McCoy.
When sugar circulates in the blood, it is carried to the cells to be used as energy. If there is no need for energy from the cells, this sugar can remain in circulation in the blood,” said Pazos. “However, while walking, we generate a need for energy to get that sugar into the cell.
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Image Source : nypost.com