It is clear that exercise, in moderation, improves our health, even though it can sometimes be difficult to find the ideal time and place (gymnasium, swimming pool, sports centre, etc.) to do sport on a regular basis.
Fortunately, there are physical activities that are always within reach and can be very good for the health of our heart – walking, for instance.
100 muscles in movement
Incredible as it may seem, an apparently simple activity like walking requires the involvement of 100 muscles in our body. For example, the simple movement of one of our feet is powered by 40 muscles as well as approximately 200 ligaments.
According to cardiologists, this complex symphony of muscles provides us with the following great advantages in improving the health of our heart:
– It strengthens our heart muscle and lungs, which helps to improve the circulation.
– It reduces blood pressure.
– It reduces mortality rate: the people who walk less than 8 kilometres a week have double the risk of dying than those who walk between 8 and 16 kilometres, and up to four times the risk of those who walk between 32 and 40
kilometres per week.
This distance may seem excessive, but to give us an idea, walking 32 kilometres a week works out at 4.5 km per day, which is the equivalent of walking for between 45 and 60 minutes at a fairly intense pace.
According to some experts, walking at a brisk pace can be just as beneficial as running. It is the distance and not the speed that helps our heart. What matters the most is the reduction of blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of diabetes. These are three factors that have a bearing on the development of heart disease.
Benefits not only for our heart
However, the health benefits of walking are not limited to our heart. Every step we take has a highly beneficial effect on our body.
• Prevents strokes
• Reduces obesity
• Improves muscular tone of the legs and abdomen
• Reduces stress and strain
• Reduces arthritis-related pain, as well as stopping the deterioration of our bone tissue
A check-up is the first step to take
Although it is a moderate-intensity activity, walking is still exercise at the end of the day. Therefore, before setting in motion a routine that leads to daily walking (considerable distances of more than 1 kilometre), we need to go for the relevant medical check-up.
In this way, we will be able to learn more about the reality of the condition of our health and will see how far we can increase the level of demand from our walks. If we are successful in sticking to a daily walking routine and are able to gradually increase our goals, we will improve our physical condition to a great extent and will reduce the risk of certain diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle.
At Best Doctors, we want to help improve the health of all with simple recommendations that apply to everybody, because nobody better than ourselves knows how to take care of our own health.