Why is walking so good for you? Studies show that.

It can be a little daunting to get in the recommended amount of exercise each week, which for adults is at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Everyone should get at least 30 to 40 minutes of uninterrupted activity and exercise every day” to improve both physical and mental health. dr jay leean internist at Kaiser Permanente, tells Yahoo Life.

But something as simple as walking can help you achieve your exercise goals. “Walking can be one of the best ways to complete this daily exercise,” says Lee. It requires no special equipment, can be done indoors or outdoors, and can be done alone or in a group. It’s also easy to change the intensity of your workout by simply changing where or how fast you walk. Unlike other forms of exercise, it is possible to combine walking with other activities, such as running errands or attending a work meeting over the phone.

Although most people have heard that they should walk 10,000 steps a day, many experts don’t think it’s necessary to walk that much. dr Ann Hester, internist and author of Patient Advancement 101, Yahoo Life explains that “aiming for at least 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day” can help meet WHO guidelines for physical activity. However, other studies show that some health benefits can be seen at less than 100% 4,000 steps or 10 mins of walking.

What do studies say about the effects of walking on health?

  • It can reduce the risk of dementia. A study published in JAMA Neurology found that 9,800 steps might be “optimal.” reduce the risk of developing dementia. However, the study found that just 3,800 steps a day can reduce the risk of dementia by 25%.

  • Walking can help you live longer. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older women took about 4,400 steps a day a 41% lower risk of death. Another study published in JAMA Network Open found that walking 7,000 steps a day was linked a 50 to 70% lower risk of death. Another study published in Nature found that brisk walking for as little as 10 minutes a day can do this Lower your biological age by 16 years and help you live up to 20 years longer.

  • It can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that walking up to 10,000 steps per day can lead to an increased risk reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer and that there is no clear benefit to walking more than 10,000 steps.

  • It can help with high blood pressure. According to a study published in PeerJ, you should run 300 minutes a week lowers high blood pressure.

  • Walking can help you sleep better. A study published in the Sleep Health Journal showed that it’s possible to take 2,000 more steps a day Improve the duration and quality of sleep.

  • It can improve your mental health. Can go Reduce anxiety and depressionReduce stress and alleviate negative emotions, according to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

  • It can help strengthen your bones. A brisk walk of at least 30 minutes a day is enough three days a week help improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis, according to a study published in PLoS One.

  • Walking can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that the The risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreased with each additional 2,000 steps.

In summary, studies show that “there is no magic number of steps everyone should aim for.” The benefits of walking are cumulative: the more you walk, the more benefits you will experience.” dr Marie Kanagie-McAleesea resident of the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health and an active member of Go see a doctortells Yahoo Life.

Hester adds that while any form of walking is beneficial, “brisk and steady walking” and “choosing a variety of surfaces and considering duration and frequency can maximize the health benefits you receive.”

Here’s how to get the most out of walking

Lee recommends running for at least 30 to 40 minutes non-stop. He also recommends walking briskly enough to get your heart and breathing rates up. “If you want to increase your exertion, you can go for longer walks or purposeful walks uphill or over rough terrain,” he says. “If you want, you can also bring a weight pack to increase your effort.”

While going for a long, brisk walk every day is ideal, it’s not for everyone. If you have to choose, Lee recommends taking shorter daily walks several times a week instead of longer, more intense walks. “Regularity is more important than intensity or duration,” he says.

Find ways to take more steps

Kanagie-McAleese recommends her patients begin by assessing how much walking they are doing using a smartphone, smartwatch, or inexpensive pedometer. Then they can figure out how to add more steps into their day. “Doing an extra lap around the block, parking the car farther away, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are easy ways to get more steps,” she says.

For those who already have a solid walking routine, Kanagie-McAleese recommends focusing on increasing your step goal, walking at a faster pace, and choosing a more challenging route, such as walking. B. Walking uphill to increase the health benefits of walking.

“The long-term goal I recommend is 4,000 to 7,000 steps a day and 20 to 30 minutes a day,” she says. To get there, “set short-term goals about every week to increase your step goal by 250 to 500 steps, and add one or two more days per week,” she suggests. Once you hit 7,000 steps and 30 minutes a day, “keep going — the health benefits will continue to increase with increased activity.”

Lee agrees that when it comes to walking, “more is better.” However, he also recognizes that these goals may not be within everyone’s reach. Ultimately, Lee says, “Just go out there and do what you can and enjoy. Have fun and be careful.”


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