Many say that the best things in life are free. Walking is one of those “free” things and has many benefits. Walking is the physical journey to good overall health. It’s requires no membership, no special equipment and can be done anywhere and anytime. All you need to do is get up, get out and walk! Here are five ways walking can provide benefits to improving your health now.
- Strengthen Your Heart.
Walking regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. According to a recent American Heart Association article, a new study conducted at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, walking at a fast pace, can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as much as running can.
- Walk Away the Pounds.
Walking can help burn calories every day. By working a brisk, walking ritual into your daily routine, it can help you shed extra and unwanted pounds. The American Heart Association reports that walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can help prevent weight gain and increase energy and stamina.
- Soak Up That Vitamin D.
Robust exercise lowers heart disease, but it also boosts vitamin D. Vitamin D intake is important for the management of calcium absorption and the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Andrea Chomistek, a Harvard School of Public Health researcher, suggests that vitamin D plays a vital role in the relationship between exercise, such as walking, and risk of heart disease. Researchers found that three or more hours a week of walking have higher levels of vitamin D as well as higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Get Energized.
Everyone wants more energy. Regular exercise, such as walking, will boost your energy levels. Walking stimulates your heart and oxygenates your blood. The weight loss you achieve by walking will give you more energy. When feeling fatigued and low on energy, a vigorous walk can help you feel more energetic.
- Be Happy.
You deserve to be happy and walking does exactly that. It makes you happy. A brisk walk can set off a number of other processes that contribute directly to happiness and wellbeing, such as encouraging the release of endorphins, adrenaline and muscle tension. Generally speaking, healthy, active people tend to be happier, because gives them a chance to take time out, think and reflect.
- A new McKinsey & Co. analysis of regulatory filings for 18 states and the District of Columbia found that 75% of the offerings on their exchanges in 2017 will likely be health-maintenance organizations or a similar plan design known as an exclusive provider organization, or EPO. wsj.com
- In February 2013, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 24 million people would buy health coverage through the federally and state-operated online exchanges by this year. Just 11.1 million people were signed up as of late March. washingtonpost.com
- “Health care is creating a ‘retirement cost gap’ for many pre-retirees,” says Lee Belniak, vice president in Fidelity Workplace Investing. “Although many assume their savings will cover all of their expenses in retirement, health care costs are often higher than anticipated. Many people assume Medicare will cover everything, but it doesn’t. The average 65+ retiree today should expect to pay around $50001 a year on health care premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, and should carefully weigh all options.” forbes.com
- Growth in health-care spending has slowed since the recession and the passage of the Affordable Care Act. It was down to 5.5% annual growth in 2015, from an average of nearly 8% in the two decades preceding the recession, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. blogs.wsj.com
- Insurance coverage also does little to drive down a patient’s out-of-pocket costs when compared to the general adult population…figures that show high-need adults spend nearly $1,700 out of pocket vs. the $702 the average adult spends. Those with multiple health conditions but no lifestyle limitations spend about $1,150. fortune.com