According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), you should take at least 10,000 steps per day to maintain health. Between work, metro, children, etc., it is rare that we find the time to walk so much. A short hike on Sunday, in the forest, in the city or in the countryside, it’s easy … and it can bring a lot.
It strengthens the heart
During moderate and regular exercise, the heart muscle increases its frequency of contractions and its force of ejection in order to increase the volume of blood sent to the arteries to carry oxygen to the muscles. Regularly called upon in this way, it will adapt more easily to the slightest effort and save itself more at rest. In addition, by increasing the volume of ejected blood, the arteries distend and their walls soften, which lowers blood pressure.
It reduces the risk of diabetes
When performed regularly, walking causes cells to become more responsive to insulin and to absorb excess glucose from the blood. This reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and acts on the various factors of the metabolic syndrome such as overweight, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia and, in the longer term, hypercholesterolemia.
It makes you lose weight
Walking increases energy expenditure during exercise (from 200 to 300 calories per hour depending on intensity, speed, etc.), but also at rest, by increasing muscle mass which consumes a great deal of energy. Then, it promotes a better use of glucose circulating in the blood which, if it was not used by the muscles, would be stored as fat. Finally, once the available glucose is used up, it pushes the body to draw from its fat reserves the energy necessary for the effort.
It muscles the legs … and the abs
The hike of course continuously uses all the muscles of the legs, but also the abdominal strap, essential for maintaining good posture and, to a lesser extent, the arms, which accompany the movement. To mobilize more muscle mass, you can use poles, carry a backpack and / or climb!
It improves sleep
Regularly practicing an endurance activity such as walking allows you to be more tired in the evening when going to bed, and therefore promotes sleep. In addition, as it is practiced outdoors, in daylight, it has a beneficial effect on the resynchronization of biological rhythms and the increase in their amplitude. We become more efficient during the day and we improve the quality of our sleep at night.
It boosts the balance
Being in constant motion involves a change in the center of gravity that the brain and muscles are constantly trying to compensate for. This significantly improves his sense of balance and coordination. By practicing on uneven ground, one also develops his proprioception, that is to say the ability to feel his body in space and in contact with the ground, thanks to sensory receptors, which allows to walk without looking without stop his feet!
It helps fight osteoporosis
Sports with an impact on the ground on load-bearing bones, such as walking, help increase mineralization and bone density, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis. In addition, by strengthening the muscles and ligaments that surround the joints, walking prevents the risk of fracture in the event of a fall, especially if osteoporosis is already installed.
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