After laying around all day Christmas I thought it was time to get back into the swing of things. So I decided on a power walk around Laguna Niguel Lake again. This time I took a different route and ended up home about 70 minutes later. I took some paths on the back side of the lake that led me to Crown Valley Park. From there I ended up on the paths that lined the streets and I used google maps to guide me home. It was a good paced walk that burned approximately 500 calories.
Here are some of the health benefits of walking;
1. The Honolulu Heart Study of 8000 men found that walking just two miles a day cut the risk of death almost in half. Other studies have had similar findings – if you keep walking, you improve your chances of a longer and healthier life.
2. If you add just 2000 more steps a day to your regular activities, you may never gain another pound. So says research by Dr. James O. Hill of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. To lose weight, add in more steps.
3. Exercise such as walking is an important part of any weight loss program. You must still watch how much you eat in order to lose weight. But walking helps you build healthy lean muscle, lose inches of fat, and pump up your metabolism. Of long-term successful weight losers, almost all maintain a program of walking or other exercise.
4. Study after study has shown that walking and exercise reduces your risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. Walking is also good for those undergoing cancer treatment, improving their chances of recovery and survival.
5. Heart disease and stroke are among the top killers of both men and women. You can cut your risk of both in half by walking for 30-60 minutes a day.
6. Get out and walk for 30 minutes a day as your minimum daily requirement for health and to prevent Type 2 diabetes. A study by the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, discovered that walking for 30 minutes a day cut diabetes risks for overweight as well as non-overweight men and women. Walking also helps maintain blood sugar balance for those with diabetes.
7. A study of people over 60 funded by the National Council on Aging, published in the July 29, 1999 issue of Nature, found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program.
8. Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body’s natural happy drugs – endorphins. Most people notice an improvement in mood. A Nov. 9, 1999 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed that university students who walked and did other easy to moderate exercise regularly had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously.
9. What better reason for men to take a brisk two mile walk each day – a reduced risk of impotence from mid-life onward.
So what are you waiting for? Walking is an easy way to start exercising. All you need is a comfortable pair of walking shoes and out the front door you go. To increase the benefits take walks frequently during the day as your schedule permits. Many studies cite the benefits of staying moderately active throughout the day. I am fortunate to have such a great walking location right next to my home so I take full advantage of it.
Make this a New Years resolution to get more fit by walking everyday. Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. STAY HEALTHY MY FRIENDS!!!
Source for health benefits of walking was about.com