This article was contributed by Callie Leaver, a Certified Personal Trainer.
We hear about the health benefits of walking or other exercise on TV, in the newspapers and from our friends and family. In fact, we hear so much about it that it can almost begin to sound like background noise and we start to discount it.
What exactly are the benefits of daily physical activity including the health benefits of walking? According to the American Heart Association the benefits of daily physical activity are as follows:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood circulation throughout the body.
- Keeps weight under control.
- Improves blood cholesterol levels.
- Prevents and reduces high blood pressure.
- Prevents bone loss.
- Boosts energy level.
- Helps manage stress.
- Releases tension.
- Improves the ability to fall asleep quickly and sleep well.
- Improves self-image.
- Counters anxiety and depression and increases enthusiasm and optimism.
- Increases muscle strength, giving greater capacity for other physical activities.
- Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends.
- Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc.) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life.
- In older people, it helps delay or prevents chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer.
The list of the benefits of walking (or any other physical activity) is long. When you start to realize the benefits of walking you will wonder what took you so long to get started.