Why Walking Is Good For Us
Oct 18, 2021
Most people have heard that going for regular walks, even for short distances, can have positive physiological effects on our bodies. It seems simple that moving the body and getting some cardio in when you can will have benefits. However, walking/hiking and running have more to offer us then you would think.
Walking promotes our brains to release endorphins, a neurotransmitter that increases mental health. It’s no wonder when people are upset they are sometimes told to go for a walk and think things over. Walking also promotes blood flow to the brain which has been linked to better cognitive function and protection against decline of and increase memory.
When we are moving across distances we are in a constant state of having new objects come into our field of vision as other leave our view. This constant process of our brains having to recognize and distinguish between new things has great neurological effects. It’s a form of mental exercise even if we are not consciously paying much attention to where we are going.
When we walk, our calf muscles act as a venous pump, contracting and pumping blood from the feet and legs back to the heart. This takes some of the work load off our heart. So when we walk we are getting an aerobic workout in a way that doesn’t strain the heart as much as if we were doing 100 medicine ball slams in a stationary positions. We, as humans, use to walk much more often in our everyday life for basic human needs. Getting food and water, visiting other places and people, exploring new areas. Now we can do just about everything from the comfort of our own homes, especially with our new ability to get food or goods delivered to our door step with the touch of a button. This makes it even more important that we take time to go for walks and get our bodies moving.
Waking also helps our lymphatic system. Lymph is a colorless fluid that is the waste disposal system of body tissue. When we walk we are helping to promote the movement of lymph through the vessels of our bodies. This can have a wide range of beneficial effects for our bodies. From helping to reduce “foggy head” to reducing inflammation the lymphatic system is a vital component of over all health and walking is a great way to keep this system working correctly and efficiently.
I hope this information will get you to make going for walks a part of your weekly fitness program, and if you don’t have one, it’s a great place to start!
Wishing your good health
Brett Stanley, Certified Personal Trainer @ Fitness Together