Studies documenting the health benefits of walking are mounting up. Doctors in the UK are even prescribing ‘green social’ remedies rather than pharmaceutical pills.
In July 2020, Britain’s Environment Secretary, George Eustice signed off a £4 million worth of investment for a pilot project in which GPs in four regions will prescribe patients with actives such as walking in nature, join a tree planing club and other community-based activities.
The project was initiated in autumn of 2020 after six months of lockdown highlighted the rise in mental health issues. Statistic reveal that 1 in 6.8 people experience some degree of mental health problem.
Similar problems exist among Americans. The Anxiety & Depression Association of America report that 40 million adults in the US suffer from an anxiety disorder. Suicide rates have been at an all-time high since 2018.
It’s also coming to light that most anti-depressants depressants don’t work for most people. A better way of overcoming anxiety and depression is to change your eating habits and start a fitness program.
How does brisk walking improve your health and fitness?
Walking is considered a light to moderate exercise. In other words, it’s a low-barrier entry and doesn’t cost anything. If you want to improve your fitness, brisk walking is a better option. This may require a small investment in comfortable footwear and sports clothing.
Brisk walking is an aerobic exercise. Like any other aerobic exercise, brisk walking stimulates the heart and lungs, thus causing you to breathe more deeply and draw more oxygen into the body.
When you take more oxygen into the body, the brain and the immune system function better. Oxygen has been shown to improve cognitive function. It also help to create white blood cells which are a vital component for your immune system to fight foreign entities that enter your body.
Brisk walking has number benefits. Numerous studies show how fitness walking helps to stimulate blood flow and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Exercise is also known to reduce stress. This is important in the modern age. Stress has been found to be an underlying cause of the six leading causes of death.
Individuals that lead a sedentary lifestyle are most at risk. Sitting for long periods prevents blood from circulating effectively. Seated position also crisp the diaphragm and cause us to breathe too shallow, and therefore, not intake sufficient quantities of air.
How fast should you walk to stay fit and healthy?
Health experts recommend the optimism number of steps to walk everyday is 7,500. That’s at a normal pace.
If you want to ramp up your health and fitness program, pick up the pace to around 3-4.5mph. That’s around 13 to 20 minutes a mile.
You can monitor your performance by using a fitness tracker or downloading a mobile app with a built-in pedometer.
If you’re feeling low or suffer from anxiety, address the issue sooner rather than later. And the cure may be a simple as a regular walking program.