As people look for exercises that involve getting outside while social distancing, many have turned to walking. People are concerned that walking may not be enough exercise. Walking has many amazing benefits and can be ideal for people that are super fit and those that have arthritis. Walking provides benefits for everyone. And we encourage those, especially that do no exercise to simply get out there and walk. You will be glad you did!
Lose Weight and Improve Your Health with Walking
Walking decreases the effect of obesity-promoting genes. Researchers at Harvard found that if you do a fast walk for about an hour, you can reduce the effects of these genes by about 50%. In other studies, it was found that walking had more benefits for the heart than running an equal amount of time. Some of these heart benefits may also be attributed to weight loss. It is also important to note that walking is a low weight-bearing exercise, especially when compared to running. So walking can be an excellent exercise for people that have arthritis. Many people shy away from exercise if they have arthritis. The newer thinking is that it is important to build muscles around the joints and to keep moving as this adds lubricating solutions to improve your joint. Some even suggest that people can avoid arthritis by walking on a regular basis.
Walking Can Increase Blood To Your Brain and Helps With Memory Loss
In a 2017 study in Experimental Biology, it was found that blood increased to the brain while walking. With each step of walking, waves of pressure are created that causes vibrations in the blood vessels and increased flow to the brain. These pressure waves were measured and found to be greater with walking when compared to running. Studies have shown walking can improve the areas of the brain that help with memory. Even in people that have mild memory loss, there was an improvement.
Could Walking Prolong Your Life?
In the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, it was found that even if people didn’t do the full amount of weekly walking recommended by the CDC, they were 26% less likely to die of any cause compared to not exercising at all. So, it’s worth getting out there for your health.
Walking Helps Improve Your Diabetes
We see many people in our offices with diabetes and pre-diabetes. Walking can help people in both groups. A brief 15-minute walk after meals can stop tiredness that occurs after eating. And people also had better control of their blood sugar when they walked. People with diabetes are at risk or may have kidney problems. A study in 2014 showed that people that walked daily were 44% less likely to need dialysis!
Walking without Foot Pain
Most foot pain while walking is due to poor shoe choices and lack of arch support. The best shoes for walking are walking, cross-trainer and running shoes. It is not a good idea to use sneakers, tennis shoes or basketball shoes as these do not have enough stability and shock absorption. If you are experiencing pain in your foot, arch or heel, you may need custom orthotic inserts made by your podiatrist.
Dr. Cruz is available for any foot or ankle pain that you may experience while walking. You can see that walking is an excellent form of exercise. So, call Gentle Foot Care Clinic to get back to walking or to have an exam before starting a walking program. Dr. Cruz will even check your shoes and let you know if they are the best shoe for your activities.
Dr. Cruz is currently seeing patients in Brandon and Zephyrhills and is offering Telehealth appointments. Same-day appointments are also available. The offices are taking full COVID-19 precautions. You can contact his office here.