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6 Benefits of Physical Activity: Make it a Habit!
by Judy Heller, January 24, 2017
What usually motivates someone to get their body moving may begin by an outside event: reunion, marriage, new baby, etc. What keeps people going is the internal, intrinsic benefits of feeling good, being able to function more fully, being healthier and having fun. This is when it becomes a ‘habit’ that is harder to break.
Physical activity, for me, is a ‘habit’ – just as is brushing my teeth or showering. If I don’t walk or if I skip a work out, my sleep suffers, I’m more easily agitated, and in general I just don’t feel like myself.
Walking is both personal and professional for me. If I am going to talk the walk, as a coach and trainer, I want to walk the talk. I also want to maintain a level of fitness that keeps me fully engaged in my every day movements and able to train in a shorter time frame for an outside race or event. I am literally in better shape today than decades ago. It has been a process, with walking as my activity of choice.
As if the way you feel and look isn’t enough of motivation to get your body moving, let’s discuss the other benefits of physical activity. Specifically let’s focus on the mental benefits, including (but not limited to):
– Sharp mental fitness- Walking doesn’t just train your body, it trains your mind!
– Increase longevity- Every day tasks become easier, from carrying the groceries to keeping up with loved ones!
– Muscles activate brain receptors- Movement keeps the body and mind sharp.
– Oxygenates your brain more effectively than running- You brain needs to breathe too! Walking is an easier pace for the blood vessels to handle.
– Cerebral blood vessels grow- As we age, blood vessels can shrink. What’s better than shrinking? Growing, of course!
– Increases breathing, heart rate, and waste removal- Walking flushes out the system and keeps everything in good working order.
Recent studies have shown that the tips of our DNA, telomeres, are preserved with exercise. Their degradation is associated with aging, so if you can do something every day to help reverse aging, why not start today!
Sleep is a primary need of most people. 7 – 8 hours a day to reboot our systems is necessary and is enhanced with regular walking. Walking can be done as a solitary activity or group offering opportunities of camaraderie and connectedness.
Walking also has been proven to reduce risks of all our major diseases including Diabetes, Stroke, Osteoporosis, Breast and colon cancers.
As if the above weren’t reason enough to get up and moving, walking improves balance; which in turn decreases risk of fractures from falling as we age.
In general, overall quality of life is improved just by simply walking! Remember, Genetics are not Destiny.
Happy New Year, dear friends.
Filed under Important Walking Tips, Important Walking Information