Congratulations to all the people who practice regular and intense physical activity. You're on the right track. And for the others... Do you want to do a physical activity that doesn't take up too much of your time but still has a lot of virtues? Here are the 7 benefits of walking!
First of all, we can mention the reduction in the risk of cancer! According to studies by the American Society for Clinical Oncology, walking at least 3 hours a week reduces the risk of colon and breast cancers. Walking also strengthens the immune system in general , so the body is more likely to resist diseases/viruses of all kinds.
You've probably heard of the famous "digestive walk"? We've all experienced this: after a meal (especially during the holidays), we feel heavy and tired. Well, that's the end of walking! It's great for aiding digestion, so you feel light and fitter.
Improves mobility with age
It's no secret that the sedentary life has to stop! It is always advisable to do physical activity to be healthier. Or, at the very least, not to stay slumped on your couch most of your time!
That's why you have to take advantage of your energy, when you're young, to move as much as possible. If you walk several hours a week, every week, it will improve your mobility as you age.
Increases life expectancy
This point is a continuation of the previous one: walking helps to extend life expectancy. It's terribly harmful to the body not to move, which is why the body tends to age faster when it's inactive. The solution? Walking, of course! The more you walk, the more likely you are to age well and conserve energy.
Puts you in a better mood
When it's raining or grey, morale often tends to be a little low. A simple way to effectively fight against depressive symptoms is to go for a walk (preferably in nature – park or other)! Walking has proven benefits in improving mental health. It helps to reflect, relax, think about something other than everyday work/stress and also allows you to see things from a different perspective. When you take your time to go for a walk, you make your body understand that you are taking a break (often well-deserved!).
Of course, it's impossible to highlight the benefits of walking without mentioning the reduction of stress! We all feel it, regardless of age. Stress is a scourge for both the physical and the mental, and can make you depressed in the long term. I'm not going to list all the problems caused by stress, as they are well known. All you need to remember is: walking reduces stress! As mentioned above, walking is about taking a break from the frantic pace you impose on yourself every day.
Finally, walking is excellent for boosting memory. Go for a walk and take a breath of fresh air, there's nothing better to oxygenate the brain! In the long term, as with mobility, with age, you will see that your memory will not deteriorate, on the contrary: walking will even improve it!
How can this be applied in everyday life?
Whether you're going to the office or your apartment, use the stairs. If your destination isn't too far away, walk to get there. Or get off the bus/tram a few stops early so you can walk at least a few minutes!
You can also, on weekends or weekdays in the evening and/or in the morning, go for a walk in your neighborhood or in a park. Set aside a few moments during the week (after or before work, Sunday mornings, walking the dog, etc.) to walk a long distance. According to the World Health Organization, you should devote at least 2h30 to 5h per week to physical activity and walking is a very good start!
In short, walk. You'll thank us later!
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