March 27, 2023

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Walking is the most common physical activity. However, it is not the most miserly when you look at the benefits of this practice. Here are some virtues that it has, to, perhaps, make you want to walk more regularly.

To compensate for the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and especially of sitting all day long, it’s recommended doing physical activity for 30 to 40 minutes a day. Even if walking is not as intense an activity as running, it is still a complete sport.

Benefits of walking

Walking improves mental health

By reducing stress and releasing a large amount during activity, walking contributes very clearly to improving our mental well-being, so much so that it is proven that people who “move” and are not completely sedentary (in the sports approach, of course) are much less prone to Parkinson’s disease, for example… This is explained by the fact that walking stimulates the production of certain molecules responsible for brain health, but also because it helps to develop and maintain blood vessels and brain cells.

Lung volume development

Walking is one of those exercises that can be defined as aerobic , that is to say, they will cause you to inhale and exhale more intensely than usual (to oxygenate your blood and eliminate toxins), so that in the long term, it will help to develop the useful volume of your lungs. You will be able to fight against certain lung diseases or certain pathologies, without the need for medication.

Prevent diabetes

As surprising as it may seem, walking is much more effective than running when it comes to fighting diabetes. Walking increases your glucose tolerance very significantly. An optimized use of blood sugar allows the pancreas to produce less insulin, which saves it money and it is not a luxury. In addition, studies have shown that half an hour of walking a day will help regulate bowel movements.

Walking contributes to better eyesight

One might wonder what the connection is between walking and having sharper eyesight. To begin with, you should know that walking, by reducing the formation of glaucoma, is one of the best ways to prevent its appearance or to relieve its symptoms, if you already suffer from it. In addition, walking, which is a low-intensity exercise, has a beneficial effect on the entire visual cortex.

Significant improvement in digestion

Studies have shown that half an hour of walking a day will help reduce the risk of contracting colon cancer, but also regulate bowel movements and improve digestion in general. In addition, people who walk also have better weapons to fight against cancer that has already declared itself, it is proven.

Prevent heart disease and problems

According to some studies conducted around the world, walking is as effective as running when it comes to strengthening the heart and preventing related diseases, such as stroke, coronary heart disease, etc. It has been shown that half an hour of daily walking is enough to reduce the risks very significantly.

Walking helps to tone a set of muscles

Whether we are talking about losing weight or toning muscles, this is quite possible if you just walk regularly, and without undertaking a sports program worthy of a future world champion. ‘Athletics. Note that training in the gym can be replaced by a good brisk walk with, here and there, a few slopes to climb or descend in controlled strides. The goal is not to do a half-jog either, but to walk in quick steps, paying close attention to your posture.

Walking is good for joints and bones

We rarely think about it, but walking is an excellent way to fight osteoporosis. It is also a way to exercise your joints in a very flexible and mobile way, without trauma. To avoid osteoarthritis in certain major joints, it is recommended to walk half an hour a day. This will make it possible to reduce the pain felt, to soften the latent rigidity and also to bring down the inflammation in these areas in particular. Note that walking is also excellent for relieving back pain, so if you suffer from it, know that walking can help!

Little tips for walking well

Whether you practice walking intensively or simply to get to your place of work, here are some tips to remember on a daily basis.

Activate your body

Although walking is not a strenuous activity, it is still important to activate your body before you start. It is not mandatory to follow a rigorous warm-up, but rather to gradually stimulate all the muscles that will be used during the effort.

If you just got up or have been sitting for a long time, stay in a standing position for a few minutes. Afterwards, start walking slowly for 5 minutes to gradually stimulate your muscles and joints.

Finally, if you want to take a walk of at least 30 minutes, make sure you are well hydrated.

Team up with good shoes

The most important piece of equipment for the walker is the shoe. Specialized shoes for walking or multisports are of course the most recommended if you walk regularly.

Your shoes must be closed

Your shoes should be comfortable and adjusted to your feet.
Your soles should be soft and cushioned. Non-slip soles are also safer for the walker.
When your shoes are damaged and need to be changed, it is important to give yourself a transition period between wearing your old shoes and new ones.

To do this, do not hesitate, at the beginning, to alternate the wearing of old shoes and new ones. Walk around the house a bit, then start with a 10 minute walk, etc. This will give your feet time to get used to this novelty and you will avoid injuries.

Other accessories

Walking sticks are interesting accessories for people who want to practice a more dynamic walk. They make it possible to increase the intensity of the activity at the level of the arms, thus making the effort greater.

Finally, the walking stick or the rollator (walker) can also be equipment indicated for people with balance disorders or who have difficulty moving around.

Listen to your body

Each person is different and has their own rhythm. Therefore, it is important to respect your body during the activity so as not to injure yourself.

Pay attention to your body’s signals such as pain or fatigue and adjust your activity accordingly. Have regular breathing and do not hesitate to take breaks if necessary.

What should I look for when choosing my shoes?

Always try on the shoes in the evening. The feet swell at the end of the day.

It is important to get good shoes that meet the following characteristics:

  • Is there enough room to wiggle the toes?
  • Does the shoe fit well and support the heel well?
  • Does it have a flexible, cushioned insole to absorb shock? (Remember, many shoppers look for overly cushioned walking shoes in hopes of lessening the discomfort caused by flat or hollow feet.)
  • If your feet are a bit flat, try the molded arch supports that you can get at most drugstores.
  • When looking for athletic shoes, ask a salesperson for “control” models – they have soles that are designed to prevent the feet from turning inward. If arch supports or athletic shoes don’t help, consult a podiatrist about custom-molded orthotics.
  • If you have pes cavus (pronounced arch), look for “stability” athletic shoes, which are more cushioned, to help solve this problem.
  • If you are prone to ankle sprains, wear high athletic shoes that fit snugly in the foot and ankle to protect against twisting.
  • If the shoes aren’t comfortable in the store, don’t buy them. Walking shoes don’t need to be “broken” to be comfortable.
  • Look for shoes made of a “breathable” material, preferably water resistant.
  • When choosing shoes, remember that tight socks or stockings can lead to toe cramps, as can ill-fitting shoes. Wrinkled or ill-fitting socks can cause blisters. White performance socks made of fibers that do not retain moisture are recommended. (Colored socks may cause skin allergies in some people.)

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