Walking is an essential activity that seems as natural as breathing to most of us. So, when, where, and how was walking or “bipedalism “ invented? Walking by humans took a very long time to develop. Experts believe that human walking first appeared in Africa more than 4 million years ago. Although early humans were not aware of the health benefits of walking, this one skill fashioned the way they lived, moved, and evolved. Walking and running made it possible for early humans to move from place to place. They migrated from the African continent to other parts of the world. Early humans populated Europe and Asia just by walking and running.
Today walking is more than an essential everyday activity we use to move around. We have come to recognize numerous health benefits of walking. Millions of people around the world walk to sustain and improve well-being. It is an enjoyable exercise that benefits our minds and body.
10 benefits of walking:
1. Manage body weight: Walking burns calories which can result in weight loss and weight management. In addition to burning calories, walking is known to counteract the effects of obesity genes. In a study conducted by Harvard University, it was discovered that an hour of the brisk walking can lower the effects of weight-gaining genes by 50%.
2. Strengths immune function: Walking reduces inflammation in the body. Reduced inflammation strengthens our immune system and the body becomes better equipped to deal with foreign harmful agents. A strong immune system is vital for the body to fight off infections and diseases. Just 30 minutes of walking a day can reduce inflammations and help immune cells regenerate.
3. Increases energy and reduces fatigue: Walking is a well-known energy booster. Walking improves blood circulation in the body which helps move oxygenated blood through various organs. As a result, we can feel less fatigued and more energetic after a quick brisk walk.
4. Reduces stress. The benefits of walking are not limited to better physical health. It is a great activity for improving and maintaining mental health. Walking has a direct impact on our body’s stress hormone called cortisol. It helps regulate cortisol levels in the body. Walking also helps produce more endorphins. Endorphins act as natural painkillers that help reduce stress.
5. Improves mood: Walking improves mood and makes us feel less isolated. It can help manage and reduce depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal.
6. Reduces food cravings: One surprising benefit of walking is often reduced food cravings. Walking improves mood and diverts our attention away from cravings. This can result in fewer cravings for sweet high-calorie- sugary snacks.
7. Improves muscle tone: Walking is a whole-body exercise that tones muscles in our abs, legs, arms, and back. It is not only a great workout for our legs but also helps strengthen our thighs, glutes, and calves. Walking helps reduce visceral fat. Walking accelerates our heart rate which automatically strengthens and tones our abdominal muscles.
8. Makes Joints Stronger: Walking helps strengthen the muscles around joints. Regular walking strengthens bone and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. This low-impact exercise relieves helps keep joints flexible and relieves arthritis pain. People with arthritis are advised to walk regularly to improve their joint health and reap the benefit of walking.
9. Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation can lead to many serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer asthma, Alzheimer’s, and gut issues. Additionally, it can also lead to or worsen painful conditions like joint knee pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain. Regular walking has an anti-inflammatory effect. According to many experts, just twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate to fast exercise can be enough to reduce inflammation markers in the body.
10. May help live longer: In terms of steps, just an additional 1,000 Steps can increase life span. According to many studies, regular walking can significantly increase life span in addition to improving the quality of our lives.
Walking is easy, requires no special tools, and can be done anywhere. As little as 20 minutes of walking can provide many benefits. So start walking today for your mental and physical health. It will ultimately help you live a longer and healthier life!
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