How long do you sit down each day? Between work, meals, television and computer time, you probably do so longer than you realize. Sitting for long periods can cause several health problems, including slowed metabolism, spine problems, low energy and even a risk of developing blood clots in the legs that could break loose and travel to the heart, brain or lungs. Lacing up your walking shoes and stepping outside for at least 30 minutes per day helps to prevent these issues and many other problems.
Long periods of inactivity can cause your glutes and other legs in the lower half of your body to weaken and even atrophy. These muscles are required to carry the weight of the top half of your body, and weak ones can cause back pain or other issues. By going for a walk of at least 30 minutes each day, you can prevent your muscles from becoming inactive.
Just because you don’t like to jog, sprint or spend hours lifting weights in the gym doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle. People who walk regularly tend to have stronger and more defined muscles in their legs and abdomen. If you focus on pumping your arms while you walk, they will also tone up. Power walking can also help you to expand your range of motion if you tend to have joint problems.
Many doctors recommend walking for people who have osteoporosis. One study showed that women who were post-menopausal and walked for at least 30 minutes per day decreased their risk of suffering hip fractures by at least 40 percent. Walking can help to prevent loss of bone mass in people of all ages. However, if you do suffer from osteoporosis, it is essential to talk to your doctor before starting a walking regimen to ensure he or she feels it would be the right course of treatment for you.
Walking is beneficial to more than your physical health. People who walk at least six miles a week often have better memories and less brain shrinkage throughout the years. Dementia affects nearly 20 percent of people over the age of 80 and in some cases, may be inherited, so it is especially vital to walk daily if someone in your family has suffered from the disease.