Wellness Wednesdays – Let’s Walk!

FEEL YOUNG AND VIBRANT!

Walking is the first sign towards our independence but unfortunately we take it for granted. This feeling of freedom is ours to enjoy until we are challenged with restraints. We then complain about the restriction it may cause us to not be able to have the freedom to walk, run, jump and go freely to where our desire, passion and obligations bring us. As we age life makes us sit more and more, from working on the computer, watching television, or simply being to busy and tired. Research shows that as we age there are many benefits to walking, which helps us to have a healthy body and mind.

Let’s look at some results from research on the benefits of walking as we age:

  1. Walking improves circulation-menopausal women who walked just one to two miles a day lowered blood pressure by nearly 11 points in 24 weeks. Women who walked 30 minutes a day reduced their risk of stroke by 20 percent – by 40 percent when they stepped up the pace.
  2. Walking strengthen up your bones. It can stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis.
  3. Walking leads to a longer life. Those who exercise regularly in their fifties and sixties are 35 percent less likely to die over the next eight years than their non-walking counterparts. That number shoots up to 45 percent less likely for those who have underlying health conditions.
  4. Walking lightens mood. The more steps people took during the day, the better their moods were. Why? Walking releases natural pain¬killing endorphins to the body – one of the emotional benefits of exercise.
  5. Walking can lead to weight loss. A brisk 30-minute walk burns 200 calories. Over time, calories burned can lead to pounds dropped.
  6. Walking strengthens muscles. It tones your leg and abdominal muscles – and even arm muscles if you pump them as you walk. This increases your range of motion, shifting the pressure and weight from your joints and muscles – which are meant to handle weight – helping to lessen arthritis pain.
  7. Walking improves sleep. The women, ages 50 to 75, who take one-hour morning walks, are more likely to be relieved from insomnia than women who don’t walk.
  8. Walking supports your joints. The majority of joint cartilage has no direct blood supply. It gets its nutrition from synovial or joint fluid that circulates as we move. Impact that comes from movement or compression, such as walking, “squishes” the cartilage, bringing oxygen and nutrients into the area. If you don’t walk, joints are deprived of life-giving fluid, which can speed deterioration.
  9. Walking improves your breath. When walking, your breathing rate increases, causing oxygen to travel faster through bloodstream, helping to eliminate waste products and improve your energy level and the ability to heal.
  10. Walking slows mental decline. Women walking 2.5 miles per day had a 17-percent decline in memory, as opposed to a 25-percent decline in women who walked less than a half-mile per week.
  11. Walking lowers Alzheimer’s risk. Men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those who walked less.
  12. Walking helps you do more, longer. Aerobic walking and resistance exercise programs may reduce the incidence of disability in the activities of daily living of people who are older than 65 and have symptomatic Osteo-Arthritis.

Let’s all get up and walk!

(http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/walking/wow-of-walking.php)

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