The connection between exercise and body is about more than physical appearance, and walking improves more than just muscle tone. Take a look at the whole-body benefits of walking.
HEAD/BRAIN: Walking improves mood. It increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, helping you feel less anxious or sad. Other benefits of walking may also include a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, age-related dementia and stroke.
EYES: Walking wards off glaucoma. It reduces the pressure inside the eye, which lowers your chance of developing glaucoma.
CHEST: Lowers blood pressure. Walking makes your heart pump faster, which speeds blood flow and relaxes arteries so that blood pressure decreases – and so does the risk of heart attack or stroke.
SPINE: Relieves back pain. Walking strengthens core muscles of back and abdomen, which reduces back pain.
HIP: Reduces hip fracture. Walking is a weight-bearing exercise. The benefits of walking include strengthening muscles and bones, which wards off osteoporosis and reduces the chance of fracture; and shifting pressure from joints to strong muscles, reducing arthritis pain.
KNEES: Keeps joints lubricated. Movement increases the production of synovial fluid, which keeps knees lubricated and decreases pain and stiffness.
LEGS: Walking lowers the risk of blood clots by helping calf muscles squeeze deep veins and keeps blood pumping freely back to the heart.
FOOT: Reduces the load on joints. Walking helps lower or maintain body weight, reducing the stress on feet, knees and hips.
ARMS: Strengthens arm muscles. Pumping your arms as you walk tones muscles – and helps you walk faster, thus burning more calories.
NOSE: Makes you breathe better. When walking, your breathing rate increases, causing oxygen to travel faster through bloodstream, helping to eliminate waste products and improve your energy level and the ability to heal.