Those of you who have already entered the walking cycle know that you can get a substantial improvement in health and life quality without making a great effort. Want to join? Start here.
When Hippocrates said that "walking is the best cure for a person" he might not have realized how right he was. Hundreds of years later we are walking and discovering the benefits of this activity. It is not entirely surprising to discover that walking is the leading form of physical activity throughout the Western world today. The main reason for this is the simplicity and availability of this activity. All you need is a pair of good walking shoes, comfortable clothing, and you're ready.
Whoever wants to have regular physical activity as part of a healthy way of life will find many advantages in walking.
It's open to everyone: walking is a simple and natural motor activity that requires no previous experience or complex training and does not involve a great deal of physical effort in the early stages. This activity doesn't have any restrictions of height, physical fitness and weight (except in extreme cases), so you can join the growing circle of walkers almost at any age and persist in this activity.
It is safe: Walking is one of the safest physical activities. First, the activity is moderate, the body movements are balanced and harmonious .That’s why the vulnerability and damages are lower than in any kind of vigorous sport. For example, the shock impact of a step during running is 3 or 4 times a person's weight while walking impact is only 1.5 times.
It is available: Walking does not require the use of special sports facilities or the purchase of expensive and sophisticated equipment. You can walk almost anywhere at any time. This activity can fit to daily routine according to the convenience and personal character: you can walk the way to your job and back from work or during a call on a cell phone and etc.
Maimonides: "When a person exercises and works hard, his strength grows and no illness can touch him, and whoever sits idly gets weaker and all his days are illness and weakness”
Do you get tired already just thinking about walking? Not so fast! You should know that physical inactivity is the most important factor in illness, mortality and high health care costs in Western society. Regular physical activity most days of the week substantially reduces the risk of heart attack, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and other diseases. In addition, it reduces stress and depression, increases productivity, improves mental functioning, slows down the aging process.
In Israel, as in the whole western world, only about a third of the population engages in regular exercise. The problem begins at an early age and in recent years has worsened with the work in front of computer screens. The solution is to join a group. Walking in a group, with friends, can spur the laziest of the lazy. Walking with a group puts a person in a structure and protects the long-term motivation. Belonging to a group creates a commitment, the group encourages positive competition and allows receiving professional guidance about track / speed / technique of walking.
Walking for fun
In 1993 a Japanese researcher, Dr. Yashiro Hatano proclaimed: "Walk 10,000 steps a day." Dr. Hatano has found in his study that the average number of a person's steps during a day is between 3,000 and 4,000 steps. His recommendation is to make 10,000 steps a day, a number that results in creating a health effect, and the focus on the goal.
This is an excellent program that is easy to implement and will turn walking into part of your routine. The 10,000 steps a day program meant walking 10,000 steps every day. When you will achieve this goal - you will be on the way to a healthier life. However, you may find that your step count varies from day to day as a result of the activities you undertake. So it is worth to follow your weekly totals - and not only daily. 70,000 steps of weekly walking instead 10,000 steps a day will help to see the results faster.
If you're trying to lose weight you can try to walk even 12,000 steps a day while maintaining appropriate nutrition and drinking plenty of water. To start the program of 10,000 steps a day wear your walking watch (pedometer) from the beginning of the day and start walking. Record your daily steps on a notepad, calendar or walking diary.
Everyone has their own excuse to the question:: Why don't you do any with physical activity? "I do not have time " is always the most popular closely followed by "I do not want to be tired". If you are still not convinced, here are all the benefits of walking in one list:
- You can walk almost anywhere.
- It increases energy, endurance and physical fitness.
- It increases your aerobic capacity.
- it doesn't take time (you can divide it into short periods).
- it tempers the appetite.
- It Improves mood.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Reduces the risk of heart attacks.
- Reduces cholesterol and fat levels in blood and reduces the risk of diabetes.
- Causes weight loss and helps keep it in combination with the right diet.
What time of the day is the most suitable for walking?
Every time has it’s advantages:
- In the morning, walking releases energy in the body and balances it
- In the afternoon, it relieves the midday pressures and tiredness
- In the evening, it releases stress that accumulated during the day and assist with a relaxed sleep
Walking does not require special sport facilities or expensive and sophisticated equipment. You can walk almost anytime anywhere and the activity can become part of your routine according to convenience and character. Regular physical activity significantly reduces the risk of heart attack. Cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. It also improves mental health and slows the ageing process.
Margalit Shilo (Translation by Dr. Izabella Zevin)