Regular walking has been shown to reduce your risk of many diseases including heart disease, dementia and stroke, plus lowering the bad LDL cholesterol, while increasing the good HDL cholesterol levels.
According to the Stroke Association, walking briskly for 30 minutes on a regular basis can help prevent and control high blood pressure (which can cause a stroke) therefore reducing your risk by up to 27%.
According to Age UK, older people who walk 6 miles per week could avoid brain shrinkage and so preserve memory as the years pass.
When you take the first few steps of your walk your body begins to release energy producing chemicals to fuel your walk and boosting circulation. This happens almost immediately as you start to walk.
After walking for around 6 or more minutes your body is then burning calories; up to 6 calories per minute as your pace increases. Your blood pressure naturally increases, so your blood vessels expand to compensate; again boosting your circulation which is beneficial to health.
As you walk for longer and your body begins to perspire, the blood vessels near the surface of the skin also expand, releasing energy which burns calories; now up to 7 calories per minute as you begin to pace it out and breathe harder and harder.
After around 20 mins your body relaxes and releases tension, because your brain is now releasing endorphins into your body which are the ‘feel good’ chemicals!
You are also burning more fat and insulin (which helps store fat) drops, which is great for anyone who is battling excess weight or have diabetes, or are pre-diabetic.
After around 40 mins, the carbohydrates will be used up and your muscles become fatigued. As you cool down your heart rate reduces back to normal once you stop, but did you know you continue to burn an elevated level of calories for a whole hour afterwards, so you are burning fat and boosting your metabolism while rested.
Start walking just 10 mins per day and build up gradually as your body gets used to the exercise.
Mel Lay is a certified Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant for the Mazarrón area.
Tel 673 162 695