There are many benefits of walking for health.
Health and fitness experts recommend walking for everyone, including those with sickness.
Walking is a natural activity, but we have restricted it due to our work habits and the availability of automobiles.
However, some avoid walking due to lack of time, air pollution, or sheer laziness.
Our human body is designed so that all the body systems are interdependent and all work in coordination for better health.
Walking is so natural, like breathing, heartbeat, and other activities.
When such a natural activity is hindered, the rest of the body organs get disturbed.
So I advise that if you feel lethargic or moody, or unwell, go for a quiet walk in the outdoors.
Benefits of Walking for Health
As mentioned before, since the body parts are interconnected, walking brings normal movement in all of the body, from head to toe.
Hence, walking has effects on almost all of the body parts.
Effects of walking on gut and stomach
The gut is an organ whose physiology like digestion, absorption, and expulsion of waste is dependent on the movements.
Due to this, the small and large intestines have periodic movements.
A sedentary life can affect this feature of the gut, and walking can reset it.
- Acidity is caused by excess secretion of acid in the stomach portion of the digestive tract.
- The prime cause of this excess secretion is stress.
- This stress can occur due to sedentary life, indigestion, toxin accumulation in gut (uncleared bowels).
- Acidity is a common problem in freqent travellers or drivers who frequently travel by bike, lorry, train, or other road transport.
- During transport, the gut is subjected to stress due to frequent bumps in the journey.
walking can reduce Walking helps relieve you from acidity.
- Because walking brings in movements of the muscles in the abdominal region and relives stress.
- It also triggers the motility of the gut and expels gases, and clears stools.
- Hence, you will notice pleasant surprises on the first day of the walk itself.
In case of acidity, take drugs prescribed by your doctor and go for a walk.
- Digestion is a process that is also dependent on physical activity.
- Digestive enzymes secreted in the gut are mixed with food by intestinal movements. This aids breakdown and absorption of food material into the blood.
- So walking helps improve digestion and also absorption of food into blood.
- The more is the activity, the better is the digestion as the system has to retake all the necessary nutrients lost due to exercise, i.e., walking.
Relief from constipation
Constipation occurs due to a lack of intestinal movements, the bulk of bowels, and water.
- If one is suffering from prolonged constipation, it is good to take a walk regularly.
- Having water before going for a walk also is more beneficial.
- As mentioned, walk enhances intestinal motility and clears stools.
Improves hearthealth (regularizes heart heart rate)
- For people with heart disease, it is said that they should minimize movements.
- But this does not apply to walking in most cases.
- Interestingly, walking for a short distance at a moderate pace helps regularize heartbeat and blood pressure.
- Further walking is the best exercise to strengthen heart muscles.
If you notice an abnormal heartbeat and believe it is due to a sedentary lifestyle, go for a walk. You will be relieved from it.
Better mental health
- Taking a brisk walk after awake in the morning enhances your mental health and keeps you active for the rest of the day.
- Also, those who sit for long and have stress due to it will have better health when they walk.
- Walking whenever chance permit during work or travel to the workplace is a healthy option.
Keeps muscles fit
- Walking especially strengthens the muscles of the stomach, legs, arm and hips.
- So it is good to maintain the fitness and shape of these muscles. And to some extent, it contributes to weight loss.
- You can personally notice that when you walk, your body will seem to be fit and erect.
Helps overcome insomnia.
- Sedentary life is also a cause of insomnia.
- Taking a walk regularly helps you keep your body and brain fit and helps you get sound sleep at bedtime.
Minimizes BP changes (blood pressure)
- Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels.
- So BP is related to the muscle strength of blood vessel walls.
- Walking, as mentioned before, tones up muscles of legs, arms, belly and also back.
- Similarly, walking tones up muscles in the walls of blood vessels. Further, it helps circulation to be active even in regions of low blood supply.
- This lets blood flow into every corner of the body, thereby supplying oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells. So many patients with abnormal BP are advised to walk for favorable results.
Improves body tone
- Walking improves circulation even to the remote body parts.
- This helps in clearing toxins and waste due to enhanced circulation.
- Further, the enhanced blood circulation supplies nutrients to the nooks and corners of most cells.
- You can notice this after you start walking for a few weeks.
The body is toned up due to regular exercise.
Helps relieve the load on the kidney
- Expulsion of salt from the body is done mainly by kidneys in the form of urine and sweat.
- But during a sedentary lifestyle, the chances of sweat are minimal and increase the load on kidneys.
- Walking leads to persipiration and thereby promotes sweating and excretion through the skin.
- This helps decrease the load on kidneys as some of the salt is expelled out by sweat.
Overcome depression & anxiety
- Mood disorders are thought to be caused by mental stress.
- Mental stress exagerates due to lack of physical activity and goes down due to regular physical exercise.
- So walking is one of the best mental stress relievers.
- If you are stressed, go out for a walk in pleasant surroundings like a green farm or beside water bodies.
This will help you overcome anxiety and depression.
Minimizes discomforts of chronic diseases.
- In diabetes, many people have unwanted problems like body pains, headaches, etc.
- Walking regularly helps one overcome these discomforts. Stress is said to be a prime causative factor for chronic diseases.
- Walking minimizes stress and helps overcome long-standing disorders.
Walking is a type of natural exercise and is said to strengthen the heart and other muscles.
Tips for a healthy walk
1. Always walk in the morning or evening times when the sun is less intense.
- In the morning after waking up, attend nature calls and go for a walk.
Walking in the mornings is better as the weather is cool and also the air is fresh.
Even in areas with air pollution, in the morning hours, the pollution is low.
- Evening walk after work hours helps relieves stress.
2. Have some water before going for a walk.
Drinking water helps the body stay hydrated and even soothes the digestive tract.
It will also help free bowel movements and avoid constipation.
3. Walk on the clear ground instead of on grass.
4. Further, try walking barefoot, i.e., without footwear. Notice walking yourself on the ground barefoot and with shoes on.
Walking barefoot has a better grip even in loose soil, but you cannot have it with shoes or slippers.
Walking barefoot helps better blood circulation to the foot and sole area.
This also helps you feel the sense of ground, and you feel more relaxed. But avoid walking barefooted in filthy places or thorny places.