Walking & Hiking

Written by PathologyPrevention
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   Taking a walk lifts your spirits, but that feeling might go deeper than you though: Becoming active actually helps beat down depression and other mood disorders. “Large epidemiological studies suggest physical activity has a preventive function in mental health problems as well. For some people, working out can be as beneficial as medication and other therapies in treating depression. A lot of people say it clears their minds, relaxes their bodies and re-energizes them. The cardiovascular benefits of walking are biologically plausible; like other forms of regular moderate exercise, walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness, inflammation, and mental stress. And if cardiac protection and a lower death rate are not enough to get you moving, consider that walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, peripheral artery disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, colon cancer, and even erectile dysfunction.

   Regular brisk walking can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, helping you maintain a healthy weight and reducing inflammation. You have to make sure that you push yourself and do things so that you can live a strong and healthy life. In a report that included findings from multiple well-done studies, researchers found that walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and cut the risk of dying by 32%. These benefits were equally robust in men and women. Protection was evident even at distances of just 5½ miles per week and at a pace as casual as about 2 miles per hour. The people who walked longer distances, at a faster pace, enjoyed even greater protection.

   Although many people with arthritis are worried exercising will hurt their knees, they shouldn’t be. Studies have found that exercise has more benefits for knee health than drawbacks. In fact, numerous studies show exercise helps reduce stress on weight-bearing joints by making cartilage healthier and stronger. In addition to strengthening your joints, exercise can help you lose weight, which reduces the load on your knees. Walking also boosts bone health, helping to fend off osteoarthritis. While combating a predisposition to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can be tough, regular exercise can slow down the effects.

   Walking 10,000 steps every day combined with modest weight loss, reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes — even if you’re pre-diabetic. Studies have found that people who went from 3,000 to 10,000 daily steps five days a week improved their sensitivity to insulin threefold, significantly cutting their risk of type 2 diabetes. And if you have diabetes, vigorous walking is an excellent blood-sugar buster, lowering levels for many hours after a workout. Note: If you are under the care of a Physician, please check with them before starting any exercise regiment. 

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