The health benefits of walking
Health experts have proven that increased regular physical activity lowers the risks of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. The recommendation is 30 minutes of regular moderate intensity exercise on most, if not all days of the week. There are various forms of these exercises and physical activities, but for now, let’s focus on walking.
Part of Daily Living. We walk every day. Walking is a part of our daily routine and can help achieve attaining a healthy weight and being physically active each day. Walking can break the lingering sedentary life which breeds health problems.
Brisk Walking. Experts recommend moderate exercise that can use up at least 200 kilocalories (kcal) per day. Brisk walking for 30 minutes consumes at most 210 kcal (7 kcal/min). This is equivalent to swimming laps for 20 minutes, playing non-competitive basketball for 20 minutes or non-competitive volleyball for 45 minutes.
Opportunities to Walk More. There are many opportunities for us to walk. Let’s look for them. While at home, we may push a stroller or take walks with kids. When going to work, park farther away from the office so we can walk more. Walk if the place we’re going is just a short distance away. We may opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator up or down two flights of stairs. Walk with friends twenty minutes before going for lunch. After work, we can walk thirty minutes before getting into the car and just get stuck in traffic. Walk home from the bus station. Get down from the public transportation earlier to take a longer route and time (20 minutes instead of 5 minutes) to reach home.
With walking, there’s no need to enroll in gym classes or pay to join health groups. Walking is free and equally beneficial to health. Walk with loved ones, walk with friends, walk for health, walk for life.
Third report of the national cholesterol education program expert panel on detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) Final Report. Circulation. 2002; 106:3143