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Health Benefits of Walking



Exercise is a topic that is often brought up when we talk about health and wellness. Walking is a very popular form of exercise, as it is low impact and can be done no matter your age. Walking is very beneficial for the body, even if it is a much calmer form of exercise.


The benefits that can come from walking include “positive effects on fitness, fatness and resting blood pressure, blood pressure control, weight loss, depression, and cardiovascular disease risk prevention” [Hanson]. This is if a person is walking at a pace of “3-5 m/h (5-8 km/h)” [Hanson]. Brisk walking is more of a high-intensity exercise, and with that comes more positive benefits for the body. It has been shown to “improve cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and body composition” [Bai].


For the elderly, walking is a very important way to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. They are more prone to getting chronic diseases such as “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease (CVD), type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, dementia, and cancer” [Bai]. Usually, as we get older, physical activity becomes more difficult and can be left on the back burner. Keeping a consistent schedule of physical activity can help prevent some of these diseases from occurring, and it can also be helpful to those who have pre-existing diseases.


The easiest way to maintain a regular schedule of exercise is to plan ahead and hold yourself accountable. Take a look at some nature parks near you! These are great places to walk and enjoy the fresh air. You can form a schedule, and do your best to stick to it. It can also be helpful to invite a buddy. This way, you are both exercising and practicing healthy habits, and you both have someone to hold the other accountable. Build each other up!



References:


  1. Hanson S, Jones A. Is there evidence that walking groups have health benefits? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2015 Jun;49(11):710-5. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-094157. Epub 2015 Jan 19. PMID: 25601182; PMCID: PMC4453623.

  2. Bai, Xiaorong. “Effect of Brisk Walking on Health-Related Physical Fitness Balance and Life Satisfaction Among the Elderly: A Systematic Review.” Frontiers, 2022, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.829367/full.


Contributors:

Author: Kayjah Taylor

Editor: Liam Lynch

Health scientist: Emilia Ohia




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