Walking for Physical Fitness
Walking is a low-impact way to achieve a moderate level of physical exercise. Each step you take triggers the release of energy-boosting hormones and feel-good brain chemicals. Your heart rate rises from around 70 beats to 100 – 140 beats per minute, pumping more blood and oxygen to your muscles. As you walk, you begin to burn 5 calories per minute (as opposed to one calorie per minute when seated), and this calorie burning boost endures for up to one hour afterwards, even as you rest. cool stuff for guys cool stuff to buy cool stuff for kids cool stuff to make cool stuff inc cool stuff for girls cool stuff to buy on amazon
Most adults, by the time they reach middle age, gain approximately 2.2 pounds per year. And those extra pounds would add up to a 160 pound person weighing in at 204 pounds after 20 years! To examine the impact of walking on age-related weight gain, a 2009 study followed 4,995 men and women for 15 years and found that the more walking the participants did, the less weight they gained.
The amount of calories burned when walking depends on a person’s weight and the walking distance covered. The heavier the individual, the more calories are burned per mile. For example, a 160 pound person burns around 105 calories per mile while a person weighing 220 pounds would burn about 135 calories per mile.
Walking Keeps us Young
Aging and inflammation are closely intertwined, and some scientists believe that we can theoretically slow or stop the aging process (and age-related diseases) if we could only prevent pro-inflammatory molecules from causing our bodies to decline.
Any physical activity that bumps up your heart rate has been shown to reduce low-grade inflammation associated with aging. Tracking 4,289 middle-aged men and women over the span of 10 years, those who engaged in at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise each day (or 2 ½ hours per week) had lower levels of proteins in their bodies that cause inflammation, as compared with others who rarely exercised.
Walking – as well as other forms of moderate exercise – can even lengthen our lifespan. According to the American Heart Association, for every hour we walk briskly, we are adding an extra two hours to our life expectancy.