You probably always hear the expression ‘take a hike!’ You know what? Health experts are actually encouraging you to follow that particular advice.
Walking, or the art of traveling by foot, is human’s natural means of transportation. However, with today’s society full of vehicles, walking is slowly becoming a lost art. And this should not be, health experts said, as walking has numerous benefits to us. Here are some that we have compiled just for you.
Walking is a cardio vascular workout that can help reduce your risk of heart disease; aids in alleviation of depression and lower back pain; increase your muscular strength; improve coronary condition; reduce risks of infection and hypertension; aids in maintaining a healthy weight; and curbs the decrease in bone density. Likewise, it also helps in maintaining flexibility and coordination hence, reducing the risk of falls. Like almost all forms of exercise, it adds more health and zest to your life.
Social and Economic Benefits
Aside from the obvious health benefits, walking can also have a very large social and economic impact in today’s society. Walking is free. In comparison to the cost of operating a car, which is approximately 5,170 dollars a year, walking will not cost you anything. In addition to this, walking will also give you more time to interact with others. Walking has been shown to improve self-esteem, relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve mood. Walking, particularly in pleasant surroundings, and with other people,
offers many opportunities for relaxation and social contact.
Moreover, walking is the only form of transportation that will not contribute to air pollution. Motor vehicle emissions represent 31% of total carbon dioxide, 81% of carbon monoxide, and 49% of nitrogen oxides released in the United States alone, and thus create 60 percent of air pollution. Although individual cars are much cleaner today than they were in earlier years, if total traffic continues to grow, overall air quality will deteriorate. Moreover, cars and trucks burn millions of barrels of oil, a non-renewable energy source, every day.
Walking will not contribute to traffic and requires less space than automobiles. Moreover, it reduces the risk of vehicular accidents on the road. Walking can help to reduce roadway congestion. Many streets and highways carry more traffic than they were designed to handle, resulting in wasted time and energy, pollution, driver frustration, and gridlock.
So do not discount walking. It can actually do you good!