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National Walking Day is observed every year on the first Wednesday in April. This year it will be on the 6th of April. It is a day to celebrate the easiest way to be the healthy. Walking helps to improve our health and even help prevent ailments such as type II diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The American Heart Association sponsors this day to remind people about the health benefits of taking a walk.
Approximately 2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity, according to the World Health Organization. Sedentary lifestyles can be attributed to countless health problems, including increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Walking is the easiest way to get our heart pumping and beating those diseases that affect our cardiovascular wellness.
National Walking Day 2022 History
The American Heart Association launched National Walking Day in 2007 as part of its efforts to promote healthy living. The significance of National Walking Day is to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity and to push for a healthy lifestyle. On National Walking Day, the association organizes events that encourage people to walk for at least half an hour.
Benefits of Walking
There are numerous benefits of walking. Some of them are:
Improves Blood Circulation
Circulation, or the flow of blood throughout our bodies, is important for good health. Normal circulation promotes all of our biological systems by delivering oxygen throughout the body and helping to eliminate waste. Any amount of walking is the number one recommendation for improving circulation. Walking for as little as five minutes a day can also work wonders. Brisk walk for about 20 to 30 minutes for at least five days a week has shown to improve circulation, even among people with peripheral artery disease (a narrowing of the arteries that reduces circulation, particularly in the legs). Walking can also strengthen your heart and improve overall cardiovascular health. A healthy cardiovascular system is important for proper circulation.
Helps in Weight Loss
Walking helps burn calories. This in turn helps in weight loss. Thirty minutes of brisk walk a day can help burn about 150 calories a day. The more you walk and the quicker your pace, the more calories you’ll burn.
Studies reveal that walking is positively associated with improved sleep. According to a survey, middle-aged men and women who took about 7,000 steps a day, covering even a little extra ground had better sleep. While walking, our body temperature increases and later it goes down. This is similar to the temperature change that happens before we fall asleep, when our body cools down in the evening in preparation for rest.
Improves Bone Strength
People who walk regularly have increased bone mass. This makes them less likely to suffer fractures and tend to have less arthritis pain. Studies have shown that post-menopausal women who walk for 30-minutes each day have a 40% less chance of suffering a hip fracture.
Helps Reduce Joint Pain
The majority of joint cartilage has no direct blood supply. It gets its nutrition from joint fluid that circulates as we move. Walking helps in improving joint, hip, and knee pain. It increases joint lubrication and strengthens the muscles that support and protect them thus reducing the pain.
Increases Heart Health
Brisk walking was shown to help prevent heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Strengthens the Muscles
Walking tones your leg and abdominal muscles and even arm muscles depending on the way you walk. This shifts the pressure and weight from your joints to your muscles.
Slows Down Mental Decline
A study of 6,000 women, ages 65 and older, performed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more.
Lowers Alzheimer’s Risk
A study from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than those who walked less.
How to Observe National Walking Day 2022
- The easiest way to observe Walking Day is obviously by going for a walk. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Take at least thirty minutes to get your heart and blood pumping and the legs moving! You can go around the block, to the nearby park or a trail or even on a treadmill. A walk along the beach can also be fun.
- Joining a walking club makes walking more fun and interesting. You also get to meet like minded people.
- Download walking apps to feel determined and motivated.
- Listening to music while walking will surely take your mind off the effort you are putting and you will be able to enjoy your walk.
- Walk to school or work or for errands.
- Skip the elevator and go for the stairs.
- Walk while checking your social media feed or talking on the phone.
- Use the hashtag #NationalWalkingDay to let people know you’re celebrating the day or to encourage people to get out and get active.
If you are not into walking yet, what better than National Walking Day to get started. Start with short trips and gradually increase the timing and be amazed at the transformation experienced by both your body and mind.