The father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, was right.
According to him, “walking is the best medicine.”
And who would disagree? Walking plus maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can help you live a healthy life and avoid the doctor.
But what happens in the body when you take a 30-minute walk every day? Very good things, according to scientists.
1. Improved brain functioning
As this study shows, walking can prevent early onset dementia, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and improve mental health.
A Spanish study with more than 30,000 participants also shows that women who walk for at least three hours a week reduce their risk of stroke by 43 percent.
2. Better vision
Even though the eyes are the last thing you’d associate with your legs, your eyesight can benefit from a good walk.
Going for a stroll can, among other things, help prevent glaucoma by relieving pressure on your eyes.
3. A healthier heart
Walking is effective at preventing heart-related illnesses and strokes.
Going on regular walks reduces heart problems by lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation.
4. Increased lung capacity
Taking a walk increases oxygen flow in the blood and helps your lungs function better.
By breathing deeper, you will also alleviate some symptoms associated with lung disease.
5. A healthier pancreas
It might be hard to believe, but walking is also an effective tool for preventing diabetes. In fact, it’s even more effective than running.
In this study, a group of walkers showed a six-fold improvement in glucose tolerance over the runner group during the course of a six-month trial period.
6. Improved digestion
Do you want to keep your belly happy? Walk every day!
A daily 30-minute walk not only reduces your risk of bowel cancer, but also improves digestion and counteracts constipation.
7. Increased fat burning and muscle building
Walking is a gentle low-intensity exercise that activates large muscle groups, which in turn increases fat burning.
An average intensive walk burns up to 300 calories (kcal) per hour. And walking 10,000 steps a day can be a “get-out-of-gym-free” card, especially if you add a few intervals or walk up a hill.
8. Stronger legs and joints
Walking can increase mobility, prevent bone density loss and even reduce the risk of fractures.
In fact, walking at least 30 minutes a day is recommended to reduce joint pain, stiffness and inflammation.
9. A healthier spine
Walking can do wonders if you experience back pain doing more challenging, intense exercises.
Walking long distances contributes to better blood circulation in the spine and improves posture and mobility, which are important for a healthy backbone.
10. A calm mind
If walking improves the symptoms of depression in patients with serious problems, imagine how much energy it can provide when you’re feeling down or exhausted.
And a walk with a friend or a loved one only adds to the effect!
Bonus tip: walk in the woods
Walking in the forest is wonderful and is great for the body, according to researchers.
This study from the University of Illinois show that forest walking can protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. According to the researchers, going for a 20-minute walk in the woods a few times a week is enough to improve your health.
Everyone probably knows that walking is healthy, but more people need to know how much a 30-minute walk can do for the body.
You’ll be happier, feel better and live longer… And who doesn’t want that?
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