Walking – why is it so Good for us?

Exercise

The first and most obvious benefit of walking is that it’s a form of exercise. When you’re moving around, your heartrate is elevated, which puts more stress on it. Your body will begin to adapt to the new stimulus by repairing the damage to the muscle, making it slightly stronger than it was before. This is exactly the same principle through which you might train the other muscles in the body. Of course, by having a more powerful heart, you’ll be able to deliver oxygen to the cells of your body more effectively, which will mean that you’ll feel a great deal more energetic. Your risk of suffering a heart attack, and of contracting heart-related conditions, will thereby be much smaller.

By walking, you’ll also be placing strain upon the muscles in your legs, lower back and core. This will in turn cause them to develop, which will reduce the likelihood of a debilitating injury. If you’ve a history of back-trouble, many doctors will recommend walking as a natural means of safeguarding against further problems. Since walking is a completely natural movement, for which your body has adapted over millions of years, it’s a form of exercise that will yield balanced, functional fitness. You can find wicked hiking shorts at GearWeare to help you keep fit and comfortable at the same time.

Walking will also help to accelerate weight-loss. By walking, you’ll consume calories that would otherwise be stored as fat, and you’ll force your body to turn to the fat stores you’ve already got, burning them. But this is just the start of it – by developing the musculature of your legs and core, you’ll be able to lose weight more quickly. All of that extra muscle tissue needs energy to maintain itself – and this energy will, over time, be ultimately drawn from your reserves of body fat.

Anyone can do it

If you’re as unfit as many of us are, then embarking on an ambitious exercise programme can be a demoralising exercise in failure. If you haven’t broken a sweat in years, or you’re severely overweight, then starting at a run is not going to work. This principle is so well-understood that it’s embedded into our language: we often hear that a long journey should begin with a single step, or that one should first walk before attempting to run. Well, this sort of advice is not only true figuratively – but literally, as well!

Danny the snapper

You don’t need to learn any new special techniques to go walking – after all, it’s something almost all of us do every single day. Nor, unless you’re especially unfit, are you going to hit a point where you’re mentally exhausted and simply can’t continue. By going at your own pace, you’ll be able to make steady, though appreciable, gains; and ultimately you’ll arrive at a point where you can move onto a more high-intensity form of exercise.

Walking is inexpensive

We’ve established that almost anyone can walk – however fit or unfit they might be. But this principle applies also to investment – you don’t need to spend vast sums of cash in order to get on board. Really, all you need is a decent set of boots: one can obtain such a pair for as little as thirty pounds – though, if you’re looking to step things up (pun intended) you might consider something a little more substantial.

Pets

If you’re the owner of a dog, then going for regular walks is obligatory. Without exercise, a dog will become fat, restless and badly-behaved. On the other hand, taking a dog with you on a long walk can be a great way to spend time with them – and, as we’ve seen, both you and the dog will reap considerable health benefits.

You’ll need a few items to ensure that your dog walk goes as smoothly as possible. A lead is a legal requirement in areas where livestock is present – invest in a good one, with an adjustable length. You’ll also want to protect your car boot against mud, hair and saliva. A boot liner that’s tailor made to your vehicle will do the job. Whether you’re looking for a Mercedes, Volvo or Ford boot liner, you’ll be able to find one from Hatchbag boot mats.

Relaxation

We all need some time away from the stressors of day-to-day life. A long walk can provide exactly that sort of release. Not only will the natural endorphins released by exercise help to clear your mind and make you feel good, but the sights, sounds and smells of the countryside can have a similar recuperative effect.

Britain is littered with areas of great natural beauty – from rolling hills to dense forests. If you’re looking for a break, then there are few better ways to achieve one than with a stroll through our famously green and pleasant land!

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Images credit (under CCL) by order:  midwestnerdIan Dick

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