Walking daily increases cardiovascular improvement while improving the quality of sleep and mental health. There are many benefits of a super-simple exercise. There is no requirement to sweat or purchase special equipment. Some people might prefer to invest in walking/running shoes.
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/walking-an-extra-1000-steps-may-increase-your-life-span. We have known for many years that walking improves health. It does not matter whether you walk long distances or do several short trips. The latest research shows that walking decreases the overall risk of death.
Over 15,000 older female adults wore step counters as they walked from 2011-2015. The study participants were followed for several years after the study. Those taking 2,000 steps daily demonstrated a 32% decrease in death from all causes. Each additional 1,000 steps showed further incremental improvement up to around 4,500 steps daily. It did not matter if the walks were slow or sped up in segments (climbing stairs, jogging, etc.).
Walking and Cardiovascular Disease
https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Heart attacks occur every 40 seconds in America. Over 800,000 people in the United States have a heart attack every year – 600,000, their first. Twenty percent of the time, a person has a silent heart attack. They are unaware of it, but the damage was done to the heart.
The major causes of cardiovascular problems are diabetes, overweight, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. Walking reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Short walks are better than not walking.
Longer walks provide improved fitness, body composition, and heart health enhancements. Older adults can find improved muscle strength and balance, reducing the risk of falling. Walking is a whole-body exercise.
Walking and Quality Sleep
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11332-020-00702-x. Many studies have shown that walking improves the quality of sleep for older adults. A study was done to determine the effect of walking on sleep quality for sedentary younger adults (19-36 years old). Sleep duration, medication levels, subjective and quality sleep patterns were measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2748771/.
Click on this link https://www.opapc.com/uploads/documents/PSQI.pdf to measure yourself. The conclusion of testing younger adults showed significant improvement in sleep quality.
Walking and Mental Health
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30227-X/fulltext. Walking makes a person feel good. Feeling good is the door to mental wellbeing. Self-perception and self-esteem are enhanced with light to moderate exercise through weight control and body image.
Physical improvements lead to improved mental acuity. Walking is an exercise used to treat depression.
Yes, any increase in exercise, even walking, can improve health, especially cardiovascular health. Most cellphones have an app to track the number of steps we take each day.
I checked my cellphone before writing this article. The app includes flights climbed (stairs), the number of steps, walking and running distance, step length, walking speed, double support time, walking asymmetry, and active energy expended (calories). I also have access to the past seven days’ results and more.
I use the Nike Run Club app to track daily walks. It shouts out my mile marks (time, distance, and average pace). It was an essential piece of equipment during the Camino de Santiago. My wife and I walked the Camino in 2016 – 500 miles in 30 days.
Habits begin with taking the first step – whether that step is a physical step, walking or not. My wife and I started a program last year, walking 2,000 steps backward each day. It takes us about a half-hour most of the time. There are significant health rewards for backward walking (slow-walking!).
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com