In today’s day and age, our lives have become very busy. This has a direct impact on our physical and mental condition. Even though we can easily spot the degradation in our physical health, our mental health is undetectable to the naked eye. Stress can cause a lot of issues which clearly aren’t as ‘simple’ as we think or rather want them to be.
One of the easiest ways to get a little peace of mind is to go for a walk. Yes. You read it right. A walk can do more good than you can imagine. Thomas Frieden, the director of the center for disease control and prevention, once told the students of Harvard Medical School that a walk is the closest thing to a wonder drug and that means a lot.
Since most of us do not have the time to go to the gym regularly, neither do we have the time to meditate, walking for 15 minutes daily can be just the thing we’re looking for. It gives us a little peace of mind in this fast life.
Mentioned below are ways in which walking for 15 minutes a day can be helpful for your body and health:
1. Reduce the Risk of a Stroke or Other Cardiovascular Issues
In the men’s health report issued by Harvard’s in 2009, walking was reported to be underrated. Students collected the walking habits of each of the participants and the factors that could lead to cardiovascular risks like smoking and drinking. Every participant was monitored for 11 years and their cardiovascular condition recorded. At the end of the research, it was found that the participants who walked for 2.5 hours a week, which equals to 21 minutes a day, had reduced events of cardiovascular diseases by about 31% and there was a noticeable reduction of 32% in death rate.
2. Battles Obesity
According to a study conducted in Harvard, obesity can also be fought by regular walking. After conducting a test, they found that genes which promoted obesity were cut down to half just by walking for an hour every day. Studies from The University of Exter even stated that walking can control sweet tooth cravings which directly effects obesity.
3. Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the major concerns for a significant number of population. It is said that a 10 minutes calming walk can instantly refresh your mind and help in normalizing your blood pressure levels. But make sure you don’t walk too much because otherwise it might increase your odds and create more troubles.
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4. Boost Memory
As serotonins bind with the brain receptors, exercise is considered to be good for our brain. It also helps in boosting our memory. In a study published in 2011, the National Academy of Science found that people who would walk for 40 minutes a week had a potential to increase hippocampus activity by almost 2%, which is remarkable. Another study found that a regular brisk walk of 15 minutes can also result in slowing down brain atrophy due to old age. The focus group for these studies were all aged between 60 and 80 and thus the issue of cognitive degeneration could be observed in depth.
5. Eases Joint Pain
Eric Robertson, who is a physical therapist, states that the cartilages act as a shock absorber which can be worn out in time. He also stated that this could lead to pain and movement issues. As a remedy, he suggests people to walk as it can help in rebuilding the joints. It is also said that walking can help to lubricate the joints internally.
6. Curb Stress Eating
Most of us take out our anger on food. While some of us completely stay away from our meals, others tend to overeat. Lyndi Cohen is a nutritionist who says that stress often leads us to binge eating which results in gain of weight. When the serotonin levels are high, your stress levels go down. This can help you control your stress eating. In reference to that, walking for 15-20 minutes can help boost the production of serotonin in our bodies.