Walk Your Way to Better Health

By Kirsten Medeiros, DPTWalking-for-Health

Physical Therapist

Hundreds of studies show that regular exercise is good for your health – did you know that walking is a great moderate exercise to help you reach your goals? Here are some of the wonderful benefits of walking:

Walking Helps You Live Longer

  • Walking nine miles a week is linked to a 22% lower death rate.
  • Walking 30 minutes a day is linked to an 18% lower risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Walking three hours a week is linked to a 35% lower risk in heart attack and cardiac death, and a 34% lower risk of stroke.

Walking Builds Bone Mass

  • Fractures are debilitating in later life.  Walking can increase bone mass and reduce risk in post menopausal women.
  • Strengthening lower extremity muscles also improves balance to decrease fall risk.

Walking Reduces Glaucoma Risk

  • Exercise decreases intraocular pressure (IOP), and can increase blood flow to the retina and optic nerve.

Walking Boosts Endorphins

  • Exercise produces endorphins that help ease stress, decrease depression symptoms, and reduce anxiety.

Summer is here, providing warmer weather and the perfect opportunity to walk outside and improve your health. So put on those walking shoes and get moving!

 

References:

Carek PJ, et al. Exercise for the treatment of depression and anxiety. International Journal Psychiatry in Medicine. 2011;41:15.

Liang YB, et al. Physical Exercise and Intraocular Pressure, Sept 2011

Mead GE, et al. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009; CD004366.

Roghani T et al, Rheumotology Intl 2013

Simon HB. The No Sweat Exercise Plan. Lose Weight, Get Healthy, and Live Longer. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2006.

Taylor RS, Brown A, Ebraham S, et al. Exercise-based rehabilitation for patients with coronary heart disease: systemic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Med. 2004;116:682.

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