Walking is a physical activity indicated by cardiologists that can help to lose weight and maintain heart and mind health and is great for reducing anxiety and stress.
The benefits of daily walking are varied and may include:
- Reduced swelling in the legs and ankles;
- Prevents obesity and helps with weight loss;
- Improves blood circulation;
- Strengthens the muscles of the body;
- Improves body posture;
- Improves levels of anxiety and stress;
- Relaxes the muscles of the neck and shoulders;
- Prevents cardiovascular complications, such as heart attacks and hypertension.
To enjoy these benefits, you must walk at least 2.5 hours a week and acquire other healthy habits, such as a balanced diet low in sugar and fats.
Benefits of walking during pregnancy
Walking is also beneficial for pregnancy as it can help reduce swollen feet at the end of the day, improves sleep for the pregnant woman, helps her to relax, prevents excess weight gain and reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Other exercises, such as swimming or practicing yoga, may also have the same benefits as walking during pregnancy. However, pregnant woman should see their obstetrician before doing any physical exercise.
Tips for losing weight with walking as an exercise
Walking as an exercise can be done at any age and anywhere, such as at the gym, at the beach or on the street, for example. For walking to be healthy and allow you to burn calories it is important to walk fast, maintaining speed so that your breath speeds up and it is not possible to talk easily,you must contract your belly muscles simultaneously, in order to maintain a correct posture and to swing your arms vigorously, since this gesture helps to improve blood circulation.
If done daily, walking can contribute to the loss of belly fat, helping you to burn up about 400 calories an hour and approximately 2.5 cm of belly per month. In addition, when done in a quiet location with a good scenery can be a great treatment to control stress.
Is it good to walk if you are fasting?
Walking during a period of fasting is not beneficial to your health because it can cause dizziness, nausea and fainting, as you may not have enough blood sugar to walk.
So ideally you should eat a light meal with carbohydrates and fruit, such as cereal bread and fruit juice, for example, before exercising, avoiding bulky meals that can make you feel uncomfortable.
Important cautions to follow while walking
Some cautions include:
- Wear comfortable shoes and light clothing;
- Drink 250 ml of water for hour you walk;
- Use sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun;
- Avoid hotter hours, such as between 11 am and 2 pm and busy streets;
- Do stretching exercises before and after walking, such as stretching your legs and arms, to activate circulation and prevent cramps.
These walking precautions can help prevent health problems such as injuries, dehydration, sunstrokes or sunburn.