#HealthBytes: Few reasons you should regularly go for morning walks
Walking is the easiest workout that can be done by anyone, irrespective of age. Whether it's your morning routine or taking your dog out, a few minutes every day can make a difference to your overall health. In addition to being an excellent cardio exercise, studies prove that walking is beneficial in many other ways. Here's a look at a few of them.
A form of cardio workout, it's great for losing weight
One of the most obvious benefits of walking is that it helps in burning calories and thus, in losing weight. Walking is one of the most basic forms of cardio workouts and is an effective way to lose or maintain the ideal weight. However, the distance covered, your speed and duration of walking determine how many calories will you burn.
Boosts immunity, reduces the chance of catching a flu
Walking boosts immunity and is an effective way to keep cold and flu at bay. A study conducted on 1,000 adults concluded that those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43% fewer respiratory tract infections than those who led a sedentary lifestyle. You can opt for a treadmill if you are unable to walk outside.
Strengthens the leg muscles and helps tone them too
Walking helps strengthen and tone the muscles of your legs. While walking regularly on plain surfaces tones the calf muscles over time, doing the same on uneven or mountainous terrains is a faster way to strengthen the leg muscles. Walking on an inclined treadmill or continuously walking up and down a staircase are some variations that are equally beneficial for the leg muscles.
Moderate walking helps reduce joint pain
Walking increases blood flow and strengthens the muscles surrounding the joints. A study showed that walking for 10 minutes every day reduces arthritis pain in older adults. Another study conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine with participants who had lower joint issues proved that those who walked for an hour each week had better mobility in comparison to those who didn't.
Provides cognitive stimulation that disrupts thoughts about food cravings
A surprising benefit of walking is that it helps to curb the cravings for high-calorie, sugary snacks and chocolates. A study conducted at the University of Exeter found that walking daily for 15-minutes or more can curb sugar cravings and also reduce the tendency to binge chocolates when stressed. This is because walking provides a cognitive stimulation that disrupts thoughts about food cravings.