By the accounts of many experts, walking is the most underrated form of exercise. Many people don’t even believe that it counts. However, more and more studies are revealing that it’s one of the most effective ways to look after your health. Not only that, but even a short walk of just 12 minutes can have a positive impact. Here’s how.
Physical Changes in the Blood
Many people don’t believe that they have time for walking. You may think that you need hours to get any benefits. However, a study published in Emotion journal found that 12 minutes was all it took to see physical changes. After walking for this amount of time, 522 metabolites in your blood will change, offering profound health benefits.
Those metabolites affect the beating of your heart, the neurochemistry of your brain, and the oxygen in your lungs. Your vital organs, brain, and bones will all benefit from moving your body, even gently. By doing this every day, your overall health will dramatically improve. It’s not just a mood booster but a real physical improvement.
Using Panoramic Vision
There are also significant mental benefits to walking. This is due to the effect of panoramic vision. When you’re inside working, you use focused vision. This is useful for using a laptop or phone screen. When you leave the house to walk, however, your vision switches to panoramic vision, engaging your peripheries and enlarging your field of focus.
This can drastically lower feelings of stress and anxiety. Research has shown that focused vision increases activity in the amygdala, the part of your brain that creates fear. Panoramic vision, conversely, decreases activity in the amygdala. This creates a sense of calm that’ll arrive within 12 minutes. That’s why looking away from your laptop every 10 minutes or so can vastly reduce your stress.
Reversing Chronic Conditions
Anyone living with a serious medical condition should consider taking more frequent walks. The act of walking strengthens your bones, which can reverse conditions like rickets or osteoporosis. It also lowers hypertension, meaning that you may be able to cure your diabetes. Of course, walking isn’t the only factor, but it can be an important part of the equation.
Certainly, frequent walks – even very short ones – lead to a marked improvement in cardiovascular health. This can help you overcome heart disease and prevent a stroke. For further information on these medical conditions, consult a resource like Supermedical. Walking alone isn’t a magic fix, but it could be more beneficial than you realize.
Anyone who’s able to walk should be doing so. This is especially true if you live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t do much exercise. Even walking to the store instead of driving can make a huge difference. You might not realize just how much a short daily walk can do, but give it a go. You’ll be amazed at how much healthier and happier you feel for having done this simple and achievable daily workout.