Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Walking – Fitness

Exercise, Fitness, Health, Mediterranean Diet, Walking -

health benefits walking fitness
Tami is wearing our favorite fall piece–the Alpha Hoody! Click the image to check it out.

To me, a workout involves breathing heavily and breaking a sweat.  Is that how you classify getting some good exercise?  Although enjoyable, I didn’t used to consider my evening walks with my family true exercise.

But I recently stumbled across some impressive and encouraging information, which helped me to appreciate that walking is much better for your health than I realized.

When added to your lifestyle, walking yields impressive results with multiple health benefits.  Did you know that walking works to fight numerous health problems?  For example, it’s preventive “medicine”–it packs a bigger return-on-investment in improving your overall health than any other single thing you could add, reduce, or try to change.

Here are the benefits of walking on a regular basis:

  • It has been shown to reduce pain and disability in knee arthritis by nearly 50%
  • It reduces the progression in dementia & Alzheimer’s (in older patients) by 50%
  • Coupled with diet changes, walking can reduce the chances of diabetes by almost 60%%
  • It has been shown to increase anxiety by nearly 50%
  • It reduces depression by nearly 50%
  • It’s the #1 treatment of fatigue
  • 11-20 minute daily walks are shown to decrease high blood pressure by 12%
  • Twenty-one minutes or more of daily walking may decrease high blood pressure by 29%
  • It has been shown over and over in medical studies to improve quality of life

We can also take a lesson here from the Mediterraneans.  The Mediterranean diet has become trendy as of late–and has lots of people talking (and trying out tasty new recipes!).  While the nutritional aspects of Mediterranean fare are impressive, the potential health benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle extend beyond diet. It goes hand-in-hand with the overall Mediterranean lifestyle, which usually includes daily walking.  In Italy, it is commonplace to take an evening stroll after dinner, arm-in-arm while visiting with friends.

So rather than watching TV at night, why not try a healthier routine?  Round up your family or a friend, and take an enjoyable evening stroll.

Truly, the best thing you can do for your health is to be active 30-60 minutes per day. And walking definitely counts as exercise! As the Greek physician Hippocrates once said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.”

(Incidentally, dogs can be great walking coaches…)

Statistic source:  Dr. Mike Evans, “23 1/2 hours:  What is the single best thing we can do for our health”

By Tami Mittan, Stonewear Designs Ambassador,  Colorado Mountain Mom


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