When you think of getting into shape, walking is the last form of physical activity that comes to mind. Instead, activities like yoga, pilates or the gym get all the attention when it comes to identifying ways to get healthy.
But did you know that walking has been known to have anti-aging benefits and could possibly add an extra three to seven years to your life? The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) thinks so. In their study group of 69 non-smokers, aged between 30 and 60 years old, those who took part in brisk walks or jogs (or other moderate exercises), experienced an anti-aging process where their old DNA was being repaired. This was proven at the end of their six-month study, through blood tests.
So, what does this tell us? That our legs were inherently made for walking and depriving them of doing so, would ultimately make us age faster. Although it is more on the low to moderate scale of physical activity, if you can include a brisk 35 minute walk into your day, everyday, you’re already onto the right path.
Here are 3 reasons why you should be walking:
1. You’ll lower your risk for chronic diseases. In general, exercise helps the heart use oxygen, thus rendering it easier for the heart to pump blood. So when you get your power walk on for 30 minutes or more, several days per week, you can actually lower your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
2. You’ll walk your way towards hot legs. Walking can lead to thin and great looking legs. How great? This moderate form of activity can prevent varicose veins from developing. Add an incline and suddenly your walk will increase your heart rate and recruit “25% more muscle fibers than strolling the flats.” It also gives definition to calves, quads and hamstrings.
3. You’ll develop a new relationship with your bowels. If you own a dog and you’ve placed him or her on a treadmill before, you’d know exactly what I was talking about. Something happens when you start walking—all of a sudden you feel the need to use the bathroom. Ever wondered why? That's because walking utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system. Therefore a regular walking routine can really improve gastric mobility.
By: Angela Redd