Reading the newspapers and magazines, watching the news and television, everyday there seems to be a new health crazes or fad being advertised. Eat this; do that, 7 minute abs, all different types of marketing for the health and fitness scene. I fully support new research and ways to improve our health and wellbeing 100% however there in no harm in sticking to some tried and true simple exercises. In this blog we are talking about one of the most basic human functions, walking! You don’t need a yearly membership or any fancy gym equipment, and there are no limits on age and fitness status.
Natural Energy Boost
Going for a short brisk walk is a great way to boost your energy naturally. Especially after a meal, it helps to promote circulation and increases oxygen levels to the brain and body. Walking can also help improve mental sharpness especially during the middle of the day around 3pm, when a lot of us start getting sugar cravings. I recommend going for a walk after having lunch to help with digestion and also give you that extra boost to push you through the second half of your working day.
Improve your mood
Recent studies on behaviour and mood have found regular short walks can work as effectively as some medications for low mood disorders. Going for a walk with your partner or taking your dog for a walk helps you get the endorphins (happy hormones) flowing. It is also a good social exercise, walking with friends, having a laugh and reducing your stress.
Increases Vitamin D levels
Going for a 30 minute walk outside is a fantastic way to boost your vitamin D levels. When your skin is exposed to sunlight your body is able to produce and regulate vitamin D. Vitamin D is a very important foundation element used in many of our metabolic processes. It is important in immune defence, bone health and overall general function. Australia as a population is deficient in vitamin D.
Important for joint health
Resistance exercise like walking is very important for developing healthy strong bones. When we walk, the locomotive action of the joints moving and the muscles pulling on the bones helps to strengthen the bones and increase their density. Healthy bone density has been related to many different conditions, osteoporosis is one of those. Walking is also a good way to reduce inflammation and flush out the toxins after athletic performance. Movement is life, and regular walking helps keep your joints especially the weight bearing joints of the knees, hips and ankles lubricated and in shape. Reducing the intake of caffeine and sugar is also a good way to preserve healthy bone density; these ingredients have been found to drag minerals calcium and magnesium out of the bones, reducing their density and strength.
Get back to nature
There have been many research studies reporting the benefits of walking and the effects they have on stress, mood and overall health and wellbeing. Going for a walk to the park or along the beach allows you to get back in touch with nature. Nature has a calming effect on us, it is peaceful, clean and easy accessible. Walking is a great way to clear your head and improve your focus and clarity. A good tip is to walk down to your local shops or walk the kids to school if possible. Also parking a little way from your destination is a god way to increase your daily step count.