The magic number may be about 21 minutes, but daily short walks are helpful, too.

How much do you need to walk each day to reduce heart disease risk – HuffPost

Walking is a powerful tool for our physical and mental health — and perhaps even more powerful than we think.

Walking for 21 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30%, according to Harvard Health A special report published in 2017 that It was used often to me Emphasize the importance of going for a walk. The report also notes that walking “has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and keep you mentally strong.”

In other words, walking has serious health benefits, besides being a free exercise that requires no equipment or a lot of planning.

If this information alone doesn’t convince you to hit the pavement, here are a few more reasons to embrace walking and some tips on how to incorporate more of it into your day.

No matter your age or health history, walking is beneficial.

“Constantly walking is a great form of exercise that reduces cardiovascular mortality…and is often associated with other healthy habits and behaviours,” he said. Dr. Tamana Singhco-director of the Sports Cardiology Center at Cleveland Clinic.

And while walking isn’t associated with the same type of energy exertion as spin class or interval running, it’s just as important and can help people of all ages and health backgrounds improve their health outcomes.

“Anyone can benefit from walking,” Singh said. She added that people with little or no cardiovascular risk can prevent disease, while those dealing with things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity can use walking to reach their health goals and prevent strokes or other illnesses. heart attacks in the future.

In fact, walking is a good thing for so many different things, a Harvard Health report stated that “next time you have a check-up, don’t be surprised if your doctor gives you a prescription for walking.”

Sawitree Pamee / EyeEm via Getty Images

The magic number may be about 21 minutes, but daily short walks are helpful, too.

Walking prevents you from sitting for long periods.

Working from your living room, your kitchen or office may have its perks (no mobility!) but there are also some downsides. Many of us are sitting more than ever due to the current lifestyle of working from home, and sitting all day can affect our bodies over time.

Dan Lieberman, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University Previously told HuffPost. “Sitting for long periods is bad for you if you don’t exercise as well.”

Singh noted that walking in any capacity prevents you from sitting for long periods, which can only be good for health in the long run.

If you need motivation, try walking with a friend.

Singh said that going for a walk with friends is a great way to bring accountability to you and your fellow hikers. Think about it: You’re more likely to put on your sneakers if your friend is heading out to meet you for an outing you agreed to earlier in the week.

“You will both be held accountable for developing and sticking to the habit of walking,” Singh said.

And you don’t have to task your group of friends with high-pressure, brisk walks. As long as you get out there, you are benefiting from your body. Plus, if you’re someone who likes to walk and talk, you’ll have a fun conversation and laugh out of walking with a friend, Singh noted.

You can also listen to music or podcasts while walking.

If you exercise solo, Singh suggested that you save a good walking podcast, audio book, or audio track to make it more enjoyable.

Try to tell yourself that you can only listen to these things while walking.

“It will make you excited to go for a walk, and [you’ll] Get a ‘bonus’ listening to your favorite thing, Singh said.

Play your favorite podcast to make walking more exciting.

SolStock via Getty Images

Play your favorite podcast to make walking more exciting.

If you can’t fit in a full 21 minutes a day, that’s okay.

Between work, errands, family obligations and household chores, life is crowded. Taking time for yourself may not be possible at the moment and that’s okay. If you can’t fit the recommended 21 minutes of walking per day, start small.

“Even a quick one-minute ride pays off,” according to a report from Harvard Health. The report noted that a 2014 study from the University of Utah found that “for every minute of brisk walking women do throughout the day, they reduce their risk of obesity by 5%.”

So start small. Instruct yourself to walk a minute in your driveway this afternoon, or take the 10-minute check-in call as you walk around your building. No time period is too short.

Once you feel ready, you can start incorporating different walking distances and intensities, such as speed changes and hills, Singh said. She explained that these two things, along with “maintaining a consistent habit, are likely to make the most bang for the buck for money.”

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