The Benefits of Walking

When most people hear that they have to exercise to lose weight or reduce their risk factors for certain diseases, they assume that they have to start running several miles each day or take up a vigorous sport such as cycling or basketball. However, there is one activity that can be done daily by people of all athletic abilities to improve the health of many different parts of the body: walking. Who would have thought that one of the most common methods to get from point A to point B could be so beneficial?

The American College of Sports Medicine produced an infographic outlining the many health benefits of walking. It includes many interesting facts, like how you can burn 7 pounds of body fat in a year by simply walking for 20 minutes each day. It also focuses on walking’s effects on several chronic illnesses, such as:

  1. Dementia: Seniors who walk an average of 6 or more miles per week are less likely to show signs of mental decline that comes with aging.
  2. Diabetes: Walking for 30 minutes each day during the week, in addition to making some moderate diet changes, can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes by 50%.
  3. Heart Disease: Similarly, walking for 30 minutes each day for 5 days a week can reduce levels of stress, cholesterol, and blood pressure, which all contribute to heart health.
  4. Arthritis: Walking is easier on the joints than running, and it will help those suffering from arthritis to experience more mobility and a better quality of life with less pain.
  5. Depression: Walking, like many other exercises, releases endorphins, which allow us to relax and reduce anxiety and depression.

There is a reason why many health experts have claimed that living a sedentary lifestyle is almost as bad as smoking. As the weather gets warmer, the doctors at the Foot and Ankle Centers of North Houston encourage you to find 20-30 minutes each day to get up, get outside, and walk! You can do it with a friend, a dog, or by yourself. Later in life, you will be happy that you did. To request an appointment at any of our six offices in the North Houston, Texas area, contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114!