What if you’re not the type of person who’s willing to go to the gym every day? What if you’re not into running, or you have a condition that prevents you from doing it? If you want to be physically active there’s always a way, and the easiest thing you can do to start is walking. Physical activity isn’t only about the waistline; it’s about overall health and well-being. We have a tendency to take our heart health for granted and aren’t even aware of the fact that sedentary lifestyle puts it in great danger. One of the most significant benefits of walking is a stronger and healthier heart. Keep reading to find out how to walk your way to a healthier heartbeat.
Is Walking That Good for Heart Health?
The benefits of walking for heart health are well-documented. The Current Opinion in Cardiology published findings from a review of studies discovered the positive relationship between walking and cardiovascular health. In fact, walking appears to have cardiovascular disease-related health benefits in younger, middle, and older-aged men and women. Scientists at the University of Limerick in Ireland concluded their research by explaining that walking has a pivotal role in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. They recommend healthcare providers they should consider advising their patients to walk more to preserve heart health. Pedometers, as well as mobile- and computer-based programs and applications, are useful for increasing walking levels.
Moreover, the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology presented a study, which found that benefits of the brisk walk may be equal to running in the improvement of heart health. According to a research team that worked on this study, it matters how far you walk. Both are running and walking reduce risk factors associated with poor heart health, and if you expend the same amount of energy you can reap the same benefit from both activities. The more you walk each week, the more your health improves.
Walking and Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease, and physical activity helps you manage it. However, if you are overweight or your fitness levels are too low, it can be detrimental to your health to start with strenuous activities, which is walking is the perfect solution for you.
A study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) demonstrated that walking just 40 minutes a day has a potential to lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension. These findings fit perfectly with the ACSM recommendations which call for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. The study also gives a glimpse of hope for people with busy schedules that they can improve heart health even if they don’t have enough time to do more exercises or go to the gym.
Walking and Diabetes
Here is yet another reason why you should walk for heart health, walking helps you manage diabetes. Why’s this important? It is if you bear in mind that diabetes raises cholesterol levels and leads to hardening of arteries or arteriosclerosis. The review of studies posted in the journal Circulation showed that both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is where walking steps in; walking about 30 minutes a day cuts diabetes risk for both overweight and individuals within healthy weight range according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Additionally, the study featured in the Diabetes Care showed that 15-minute moderate speed walk about thirty minutes after eating could help you control blood sugar levels. Managing or preventing diabetes will be extremely helpful for your heart.
Walking and Weight Loss
You already know that excessive weight puts you at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, but did you know that walking can help you lose weight? If you’re overweight or obese, taking simple walks can help you improve fitness levels and prepare you for more vigorous activities. At least 30 minutes of walking a day are more beneficial for promoting various healthful outcomes than diet alone, according to a study from International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. Moreover, research conducted by scientists at the London School of Experts have found that a regular, brisk walk may be more beneficial for weight loss than going to the gym.
The study presented at the North American Menopause Society 2015 Annual Meeting showed that menopausal women who experience frequent and more severe hot flashes could face a higher risk of heart diseases while women who didn’t experience frequent hot flashes weren’t considered at risk. Furthermore, sedentary women have more severe symptoms of menopause than women who are active, according to a study published in the Menopause. Scientists also discovered that exercise could help relieve menopause hot flashes and other symptoms. Activities such as yoga, walking, jogging, are all helpful for alleviating the symptoms; which is why women should aim for at least 30-minutes of exercise three days a week. A research that appeared in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention showed that 40 minutes of walking about five days a week reduces the severity of menopause symptoms.
Numerous factors contribute to poor heart health and walking poses as the easiest and most cost-effective way to tackle them. Walking helps you lose weight, control diabetes, and blood pressure, it also regulates hot flashes thus decreasing the risk of heart disease in women. If you can’t or don’t have time for more difficult exercises, you can always get at least 30 minutes of walking. Don’t take your care wherever you go, use stairs instead of elevators, get off the bus one stop earlier, all these little things can help you walk more, you can also buy a pedometer to step up your walking game.
Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines and wrinkles, best eye creams, weight loss and fitness news. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook , and Pinterest.
Source: Medical Daily
September 29, 2016
By Sophie Addison