Yes, there are already a million and one articles written about the benefits of walking, but what the heck, I love walking and I’m not going to let pass the opportunity to speak my mind about it.
I remember a few years back before I got myself a house in the suburbs, I used to brisk-walk home from the bank I worked for and really look forward to doing it everyday. I even entertained the idea of walking to work in the morning but cancelled it because I don’t want to appear before my boss all sweaty and messed up and I’m also too lazy to bring extra clothes.
Now, I still walk whenever the opportunity presents itself. Knowing the benefits of walking and taking it seriously, I sometimes get off the passenger vehicle I’m riding on with still a few kilometers off from my house and walk the rest of the way. Other times, I drag my wife away from her favorite tv show just to walk around the village in the early evening.
Perhaps, what makes me love walking primarily is the natural high that it gives me during and after the event. And of course, its other ‘side effects’ are not bad either. The benefits of walking, the “side effects”, takes the following forms:
- Walking reduces risk of diseases: (Truth is we take this for granted and wait until it’s too late).
- (30 minutes/day) prevents diabetes.
- Cancer (breast cancer, colorectal cancer), increase survival rate
- Heart disease and stroke
- Erectile dysfunction
- Prevents common cold and chest infections
- Helps to fight osteoporosis
- Helps ease backache and neck pain.
- Speeds up recovery
- Improves bladder control
- Improves lung capacity
- Increases thinking skills due to gentle and gradual increase in blood flow to brain. (Students, and people who worry about memory recall, take note).
- Lightens mood, due to release of endorphins. Fights depression and anxiety. (Ahh, that drug-less natural high).
- Improves self-confidence. (Should’ve known about this benefit of walking back in high school).
- Walkers had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously. (Stressing the body at just the right amount takes the stress of the mind).
- Combined with mental/yogic techniques, walking will prove to be beneficial in countless ways. (Walking meditation).
- Prevents weight gain. (But, the heavier you get, the lazier you become. Watch out).
- Promote sound sleep fight insomnia. (Mental stress that isn’t released is the cause of insomnia).
- Beneficial for pregnant women. (Everyone knows this fact).
- Relieves pre-menstrual tension. (My wife tells me this is true).
- Improves memory. (Remember the blood flows to the brain).
- Safest, least injury-prone form of exercise compared to jogging and other strenuous exercises. (Doesn’t unnecessarily juggle and shake internal organs that don’t like juggling and shaking).
- Improves relationships when done together with others. (Talk. Sometimes you don’t even need to).
- More shapely legs. (Wow!).
- Increase libido. (Wow! Wow! Shouldn’t this be number 1 in the ‘benefits of walking’ list? ).
- Regular exercise ‘Will Put Aging on Hold for 12 Years’. (So, that’s why I hear people say I don’t look my age at all J ).
We all already know how beneficial walking (or exercising, in general) is. Sometimes, it takes another reminding nudge, like this article for instance, for us to make the decision to do it. The next time you slide back to being a couch potato, try to stumble back again to this page. Or, better yet, print out even just the ‘benefits of walking’ list portion and tack it on your bedroom wall.