Walking should be an aerobic exercise. Aerobic means that exercise is carried out at a comfortable pace to ensure that the muscles have sufficient oxygen available. If you are gasping for breath, you are doing anaerobic exercise, however, egular aerobic exercise done three times a week for 30 minutes or more will result in increased levels of fitness and aerobic capacity.
Physical activity does not need to be done for long periods in order to improve your health. Regular participation in physical activity is associated with reduced mortality rates.
Health benefits of walking include:
- Weight loss and maintenance
- Increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
- Reduced body fat
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke
- Improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
- Increased bone density which lessens your risk of osteoporosis
- Increased muscle strength and endurance
- Help with overall flexibility
- Increase mental well being
Walking speed might help you reflect or monitor how healthy you are. Studies have suggested that a person with a walking speed slower than 0.6 meters per second (less than 2 feet per second) may be at increased risk for poor health and function. “We’re able to show that a person’s capacity to move strongly reflects vitality and health,” said study researcher Dr. Stephanie Studenski, a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
A study has determined that high-intensity interval walking may protect against high blood pressure and decreased muscle strength among older people. Though this is not to say a brisk daily walk will lead you to the fountain of youth, but it’s a good start. You need to know that Walking will not cost you anything, you can do it now, right away. Sitting too much is bad for cholesterol, bad for your back and muscles.
Faster Pace Boosts Life Span
Older people who walk quickly tend to live longer than those who slow way down as they age, because blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the pace that you feel comfortable walking at can be a simple sign of your overall health. This does not mean slow walkers are doomed to die early, but you should push yourself to hustle to keep you young.
Researchers found out that speed of walking was directly associated with survival. Older people that walk faster were likely to live longer, in comparison to slow walker. The study calculated speed using distance in meters and seconds. The average walking speed for the study participants, using their normal pace from a standing start, was 0.92 meter or three feet per second.
The prediction survival based on gait speed for each sex and age group augmented the faster a person could walk. But participants who walked slower than two feet per second were at increased risk of dying, whereas those walked three feet per second had survived longer than expected.
“We are not saying that if you just go out and walk faster, you will live longer. Absolutely not,” said Stephanie Studenski, a geriatrician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and at the Veteran Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System. “We are saying your body selects a walking speed that is best for you based on the health of all your body systems.“