Walking is one of the most versatile – and most underrated – forms of exercise. There’s little doubt that taking a stroll or hike is good for you. After all, it’s an easy aerobic exercise. What may surprise you is the breath of benefits that come from adding a walk into your day.
It’s no wonder that a growing number of active adults are seeking out lifestyle communities that provide easy and instant access to walking and hiking trails. New community developers are catching on. The Preserve at Bancroft Ridge, a new master-planned lifestyle community, has purposefully located a majority of its lots right on the edge of the Hastings Heritage Trail, one of the popular routes in all of Ontario.
Here are the top benefits of regular walking
People who exercise regularly in their 50s and 60s are 35% less likely to pass away over the next eight years than those that lead a primarily sedentary life. For those with some underlying health conditions, the number increases to 45% less likely.
Exercise releases endorphins in the body, natural painkillers. The more daily steps people take, the better their moods as a result, according to a California State University study.
You can burn 200 calories over the length of a brisk 30-minute walk. Longer durations and longer distances only increases the burn. Taking a walk after a meal aids in digestion, reducing weight gain and increases the potential for dropping weight.
Walking is physical movement that increases your range of motion. Shifting the pressure and weight from joints to muscles can help tone your legs, abdomen and arms.
Studies show that women, ages 50 to 75, who took one-hour morning walks, were more likely to relieve insomnia than women who didn’t walk.
Movement and compression from walking “squishes” joint cartilage, injecting oxygen and nutrients into the area. This nourishes your joint cartilage, which without movement, gets zero blood supply.
When walking, your rate of breath increases, circulating oxygen faster through the bloodstream. This helps to eliminate waste products, improve your energy level and the ability to heal.
Better Mental Health
As we age, walking improves memory and slows the deterioration of brain tissue. Plus, psychologists suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout when it comes to relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.