Walking is an aerobic physical activity that can be performed by anyone, regardless of the person’s age and physical condition, and has several health benefits, such as improving the cardiovascular system, reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety, strengthening muscles and decreased swelling.
In order to have real health benefits, it is important that the walk is done on a regular basis and is accompanied by good eating habits, as this way it is possible to stay healthy.
The main benefits of walking are:
1. Decreases swelling
Walking helps to reduce swelling in the legs and ankle, as it favors blood circulation and decreases fluid retention. However, for the swelling to be fought, it is important that the person drinks plenty of fluids during the day, has a healthy diet and practices walking regularly for at least 30 minutes. See more about fighting fluid retention and reducing swelling.
During pregnancy, walking is also indicated to reduce swelling of the feet at the end of the day. In addition, walking during pregnancy helps to relax, prevents weight gain and decreases the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes, however the practice of walking should be guided by the obstetrician.
2. Prevents disease
Regular walks help prevent some diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis and hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. This is because the various muscles are worked during physical activity, generating greater energy expenditure, in addition to promoting improved blood circulation.
Walking also promotes the integrity of veins and arteries, decreasing the chance of fat deposition on the vessel wall, thus preventing atherosclerosis, in addition to improving cardiorespiratory capacity. In addition, walking is effective in preventing osteoporosis because it promotes increased bone density, preventing wear and tear over time.
For disease prevention to be effective through walking, it is important that the person has healthy eating habits, avoiding sweets, sugars and excess fat. Learn how to eat a balanced diet to lose weight .
3. Strengthens muscles
Muscle strengthening happens because with regular exercise, the muscles begin to capture more oxygen, increasing its efficiency. In addition, as walking is an aerobic exercise, there is the involvement of a group of muscles, which need to act together, which results in strengthening.
4. Improves body posture
As walking is a physical activity that involves several muscles and joints, regular practice can help reduce pain and improve body posture.
5. Promotes relaxation
The relaxation promoted by walking is due to the release of hormones responsible for the feeling of well-being, especially endorphins and serotonins, during physical activity. These hormones act directly on nerve cells, being able to combat psychological changes such as anxiety and stress, in addition to also being able to promote relaxation of the neck and shoulders muscles, since this tension may be related to stress, for example.
6. Improves memory
It is believed that regular exercise also promotes memory improvement, because physical activity stimulates greater blood circulation in the brain, favoring the production of catecholamines during exercise. In order to have this benefit, the walk must be practiced daily, at a moderate pace and for about 30 minutes.
How to lose weight with walking
The walk can be done at any age and anywhere, such as at the gym, on the beach or on the street, for example. For walking to be healthy and burn calories it is important to walk fast, maintaining speed, so that breathing is accelerated and it is not possible to talk easily. In addition, it is recommended to contract the belly muscles simultaneously, in order to maintain the correct posture and swing the arms vigorously, as this gesture helps to improve blood circulation.
If done daily, the walk will contribute to weight loss and belly loss, and you can burn up to 400 calories per hour and approximately 2.5 cm of belly per month. In addition, when done in a quiet location with a good landscape it can be a great treatment to control stress. Understand more about how walking helps you lose weight.
Is it good to walk fasting?
Fasting walking is not beneficial for health, as it can cause dizziness, nausea and fainting, as the person may not have enough blood sugar to walk. Thus, the ideal is to eat a light meal, with carbohydrates and fruit, such as cereal bread and fruit juice, for example, before exercise, avoiding too large meals so as not to feel uncomfortable.
Important precautions during the walk
It is important to take some precautions during the walk so that there are no injuries or situations that can compromise the person’s well-being, being recommended:
- Wear comfortable shoes and light clothes;
- Drink 250 mL of water for each hour of walking;
- Use sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun;
- Avoid warmer times, such as between 11 am and 4 pm and very busy streets;
- Do stretching exercises before and after walking, such as stretching your legs and arms, to activate circulation and prevent cramps. Know what exercises to do .
This walk care helps to prevent health problems, such as injuries, dehydration, heat stroke or sunburn.