Yesterday we touched on some of the basic health benefits of walking, and today we’ll look at these in more detail. Walking is the most natural exercise that keeps the blood flowing in your body. Without proper blood circulation, you aren’t able to do as much, and you’ll end up sitting more than you should.
I know people with diabetes often have more trouble with their circulation. It’s so important to keep the blood flowing through your body, keeping your heart pumping so you can enjoy this life God has given you. Walking, even at a slower pace, helps circulate the blood throughout your body. When you start walking, you may feel out of breath but if you keep at it, you’ll find your breathing gets easier and you have more energy. Don’t give up because you’re tired. Do a little more tomorrow than you did today and you’ll notice a change. You’ll also burn more calories and along the way lose some weight.
Walking also helps lubricate your joints. As you age your joints may get a little stiffer. If you feel stiff, you just need to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Daily walking can definitely keep your joints loosened up so it is easier to move.
Walking also keeps your muscles strong so they don’t atrophy—lose their strength—and you definitely don’t want that to happen. I’ve watched some weight-training videos for ‘seniors’ where they use an unopened soup can as weight. They start by lifting the can up with one hand and then with the other hand. It isn’t a heavy weight, but even doing something like this could keep you from getting to a point of total inability or use of your muscles.
The exercise you derive from aerobic walking is probably the most beneficial. It’s also referred to as interval walking, and it’s where you start walking at a slower pace and increase with a faster walking pace for a few minutes before slowing back down. Then repeat this for at least 15-20 minutes. This type of aerobic walking gets your heart rate to an accelerated level, allowing you to burn more calories.
Start with what you CAN do and build it up from there. Tomorrow we’ll connect walking with creativity.