Benefits of Walking for Physical and Mental Health

Benefits of Walking for Physical and Mental Health
Benefits of Walking for Physical and Mental Health
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It is known that regular walks have positive effects on physical and mental health. Studies show that brisk walking for 5-30 minutes 45 days a week has a great effect on the fight against excess weight. Walking, which is good for the blood circulation in the body, also reduces the risks of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. It also reduces the daily stress rate and can delay the aging process. Specialist from Memorial Antalya Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Department. Dr. Ayşe Yener Güçlü gave information about the importance of regular walks.

One of the most beneficial activities you can do yourself

The benefits of walking can be listed as follows:

  • Taking a regular 30-minute walk every day is primarily good for mental health. Psychological problems can be dealt with more easily. It has positive effects on memory and memory, and studies have shown benefits related to Alzheimer's disease.
  • Walking reduces the symptoms of depression and provides vitality.
  • Walking improves posture and mobility and strengthens the spine.
  • When walking regularly, the risks of heart diseases are reduced and it is easier to balance blood pressure. In addition, blood circulation is regulated. Women who walked at least 3 times a week had a reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Walking improves mobility, strengthens bones and reduces the chances of fractures. Walking for 30 minutes every day reduces joint pain, muscle stiffness and inflammation.
  • Walking increases oxygen circulation in the lungs and makes the lungs and airways work better.
  • It has been observed that walking is more beneficial than jogging in regulating blood sugar.
  • Regular walking improves the digestive system. It is good for constipation and reduces the frequency of digestive system diseases.
  • Walking works large muscle groups and thus provides rapid fat burning.
  • Although it varies from person to person, an average of 300 calories per hour can be burned in a moderate paced walk.
  • Walk for 5 days to get rid of extra pounds!

According to studies, walking at a moderate and vigorous level for 5-30 minutes at least 45 days a week contributes more to the fight against excess weight. If the intensity of walking is increased, the total weekly time can be shortened. However, if the person's body mass index is above 35, that is, if he is overweight, it may not be possible to walk with a vigorous pace, so 4-12 weeks can be started at a moderate level and at the end of this period, the pace can be increased to vigorous.

Take 5 minutes each for warm-up and cool-down.

If regular and brisk walking is to be started for the first time, it will not be possible to go up to this intensity and duration, and it should be aimed to increase both in time by starting with 10-20 minutes a day and low intensity. To reach the heart rate, the walking speed should be increased gradually (warm-up period) and the pace should be decreased after walking so that your heart rate returns to normal (cool-down period). Warm-up and cool-down periods are very important for cardiovascular health. Warm-up and cool-down times should be at least 5 minutes each.

Prepare your heart for a walk

Before starting brisk walking, warming up and light stretching (stretching) exercises should be done. This can prevent possible muscle and joint injuries and facilitates the adaptation of the cardiovascular system to exercise. Excessive or incorrect practices are as harmful as walking and not exercising. The benefit of walking and doing sports comes from being sustainable. If injury intervenes, it will do more harm than good. For this reason, the first rule that everyone who does amateur or professional sports or walks should not skip is not to get injured.

Do not underestimate the choice of shoes

Appropriate and properly selected sports shoes with sole softness increase performance. Sports shoes with flexible soles and suitable for walking should be preferred. Shoes that are too big or tight should be avoided. If there is a flat feet problem or if there are problems with the waist, hip, knee, ankle and feet, first of all, a doctor's control should be passed and if necessary, walking should be done with insoles placed in the shoes. While walking, clothes should not prevent sweating, but should also protect the person from external conditions.

Eat something 2 hours before the walk

Nutrition before and during the walk is important. It is recommended to have a meal that has a low glycemic effect, does not disturb your digestive system, contains energy, is rich in quality carbohydrates, and is supplemented with protein sources such as milk and yoghurt 2 hours before starting the walk. For example, a sandwich made with smoked turkey and cheese between banana and milk or multigrain bread, or oatmeal with yogurt can be eaten before exercise.

Eat a protein-rich diet after a walk.

After the walk, foods with high protein content or a fruit should be eaten. It should be ensured that sufficient amount of fluid is taken during this period. It is necessary to compensate for the loss of fluid that occurs with sweating during and after walking. Delaying fatigue, preventing muscle cramps, increasing concentration and preventing injuries can be achieved with appropriate fluid consumption before, during and after all exercises, including walking.

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