Happy National Walking Day! Consider leaving your car parked today and put on your walking shoes. The American Heart Association sponsors National Walking Day which falls on the first Wednesday in April. On this day, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to get moving and take a thirty-minute walk. There are many benefits of regular exercise and here is a highlight of a few important ones.
Heart Health. It makes sense that the American Heart Association would sponsor National Walking Day as 30 minutes of exercise a day is suggested for heart health. Cardio gets your blood pumping and this in turn lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
Weight Control. Walking is one of the easiest ways to lose weight. Try walking for 30 minutes a day. Do this consistently for a month and then check your weight. You may be surprised at what you find. Walking is a form of exercise that almost everyone can partake in so make it fun and bring your pet or ask family or friends to join you.
Reduce Diabetes. We’ve already established that exercise helps manage weight control and with obesity and type-2 diabetes closely linked together, this is one reason exercise reduces the risk of diabetes. There are other benefits as well. Exercise helps muscles absorb blood sugar and improve glucose control. This in turn prevents it from building up in the bloodstream making 30 minutes a day of exercise essential for continued blood glucose control.
Reduce Cancer. Many case studies and research have been done examining the association of exercise and colon and breast cancer. The studies have consistently found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing either of these cancers. Although researchers don’t have an exact reason why exercise reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer, some attribute it to hormone levels and insulin control. Research also suggest that exercise is beneficial for patients undergoing cancer treatment and can improve the chances of survival.
Stress Reliever and Brain Boost. Research has shown that exercise reduces stress. Exercise boosts endorphins which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate depression and anxiety. It also improves memory and attention span. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life as it strengthens your mind.
These are just a few of the benefits of regular exercise. Let National Walking Day start you off but don’t let it end there. Make exercise part of your daily schedule and reap all the benefits of a healthier, happier you. Lace up those sneakers and get walking!