Putting your best foot forward: Why walking is underrated


4 health benefits of walking
The health benefits of exercise are undeniable, but you don’t need to take extreme, sweaty measures.

A groundbreaking international study, led by the University of Granada, has revealed a remarkable discovery that can potentially add more years to your life.

For decades, the widely embraced target of taking 10,000 steps a day had no scientific foundation, originating from Japan in the 1960s. Now, science has provided clarity, indicating that the magic number of steps for reaping significant health benefits is 8,000.

To put this into perspective, with an average stride length of 76 centimetres for men and 67 centimetres for women, reaching 8,000 steps equates to covering around 6.4 kilometres each day.

Moreover, the pace at which you walk plays a crucial role in enhancing the benefits of your daily steps. Walking at a brisk speed, rather than strolling slowly, offers additional advantages. In particular, when it comes to the risk of succumbing to cardiovascular disease, the study indicates that the greatest benefits are achieved at approximately 7,000 steps.

Health Benefits of Walking

Here are four great reasons to lace up your sneakers and take a stroll today:

Improve heart health

Researchers at Binghamton University in the US have found moderately intensive walking can reduce your risk of heart disease by changing biological markers such as cholesterol, weight and blood pressure. Study participants walked 150 minutes per week for 10 weeks and showed improved cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular disease is a major cause of death in New Zealand, killing one person every 90 minutes. Other risk factors include physical inactivity, low fruit and vegetable intake, alcohol consumption and smoking.

Boost brain power

Researchers in New Mexico Highlands University found that the foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries, which can increase the supply of blood to the brain. This increased blood ow brings glucose and other nutrients to the organ.

Reduce body fat

The pace at which you walk influences fat loss. Researchers from the University of Virginia found that people who did three shorter, fast-paced walks plus two longer, moderate-paced walks each week lost ve times more belly fat than those who strolled at a moderate speed five days a week.

Enhance mood

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology found walking can improve the quality of life for depressed women. Their study showed that women who averaged 200 minutes of walking every week felt better emotionally, had more energy and were more sociable.

Discover what your walk says about you.


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