Walking Benefits The Mind, Body And SoulWalking Benefits The Mind, Body And Soul

Why is it that walking is such a popular form of exercise? Here are some of the compelling reasons - it can be taken up by anybody, anytime; its health benefits are immense, and it can be easily adapted to suit an individual's unique exercise needs. Plus, it's a form of exercise that doesn't take too much out of you either in terms of effort or money. A good pair of walking shoes and the will to walk is all that's required to enjoy many walking benefits.

Being a gradual, moderately paced exercise, it is far more sustainable and provides long-term benefits to the body, unlike some other exercises that provide short-term results. Over time, regular walkers enjoy walking benefits such as improved levels of fitness, a reduction in body fat and healthier bodies overall. In addition to the physical walking benefits stress reduction and greater relaxation can be experienced from regular walking. It is a form of exercise that benefits the whole body including the heart, lungs, muscles, the mind and the soul.

Walking benefits, as mentioned above are several and varied. Being an aerobic exercise, walking leads to better supply of oxygen to the whole body, as a result of which various organs start functioning better. This simple exercise boosts the functioning of the heart, keeping it more active and translating into a reduction in heart disease, strokes and related illnesses. Walking is a gradual activity unlike other intensive workouts. An hour-long brisk walk achieves what a lot of other exercises cannot - a significantly longer period of workout where the body maintains a certain level of activity. As this pattern is maintained, the body achieves 'fat burning' mode much faster by increasing its metabolic rate.

Other walking benefits demonstrated by regular walkers include longer life spans, better muscle tone, more flexible bodies, better digestion, lower incidence of obesity, colon cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, lower 'bad cholesterol' and lower blood pressure. These are the most visible physical benefits. However, there are other intangible benefits that are also significant.

A lot of times due to stress and strain, we forget to breathe right; we find that our breathing is shallow or restricted, causing anxiety, tension and sleeplessness. As we walk, our breathing gets more rhythmic, giving us a better sense of well-being and restfulness. Over time, the tension in our bodies reduces and we start sleeping better, breathing deeper and gradually melt the stress away from our bodies.

Another walking benefit that isn't always talked about is the impact of 'happy hormones' or endocrines. Have you noticed how you get that 'high' after a workout? It's the endocrines doing their job - releasing that sense of calm and well-being into your body. Its impact cannot be undermined. With happier minds, we're able to think clearer, be more positive about stressors, make healthier choices and lead more fulfilling lives.

Walking benefits can also be social. An early morning walk with friends or other determined walkers for company can imbibe a sense of belonging and shared purpose. Just the act of going out there and meeting more people can be a sure way of countering depression, loneliness and despondency - conditions that are afflicting more people today than we care to keep track of.

All in all, walking can really do wonders to your mind, body, soul and social life!
by Lee Mellott
References and Bibliography
For more on Walking Benefits and the Best Walking Shoes designed to help you burn more calories visit EarthFootwear.com at http://www.EarthFootwear.com
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