By: Mission Healthy Living
August 26, 2019
Walking is a durable workout at almost any age. Whether you’re a younger person just trying to get your steps in, or a senior with limitations that leave walking as your only means of physical activity, science keeps discovering more benefits to this simple exercise.
Walking helps your brain
Just the mere impact of your foot against the ground holds a key health benefit. A study published in Experimental Biology found that “the foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.” Researchers also noted that walking caused more foot impact than bicycling.
Delivering blood to the brain is important, because many of the brain’s normal functions depend on a consistent supply of blood filled with oxygen and nutrients.
Just an hour of walking a week can help
If you’re short on time, a walk is still a beneficial investment. You don’t have to sweat to exercise. In fact, a simple walk each night could make a drastic difference in your health.
In a study on adults with lower extremity joint symptoms, researchers found that around 1 hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a week was enough to keep participants disability-free for more than four years.
Morning walks can lower your blood pressure if you’re sedentary
Some of us can’t participate in exercises like running or weight training due to physical limitations. However, one Australian study observed that a 30-minute morning walk helped lower the blood pressure of older overweight/obese adults vs. prolonged sitting. While the study found evidence that both men and women could benefit, they observed more benefit in the female participants.
Want another reason to take walks in the morning right now? Escaping this August heat!