Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Walking for Health

I enjoy being able to answer questions from the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine in my “Ask Dr. Walt” column. Here’s a recent Q&A about exercise:

Dear Dr. Walt,

My wife and I enjoy our walks together. She says she read walking can benefit our physical health as much as our relational health. True?

—Romantic in Rhode Island

Dear Valentino,

Prevention magazinelists these benefits of walking:

  • Your mood improves.
    • Regular walking modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility.
    • When you make your walks social—with a friend or your spouse—you feel connected, which boosts mood.
  • Your creative juices flow.
    • Researchers found that the walkers thought more creatively than sitters.
  • Your jeans get looser.
      • Regular walking can improve your body’s response to insulin, which can reduce belly fat.
      • “Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older.”
    • You’ll slash your risk of chronic disease.
      • The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers blood sugar and your risk for diabetes.
      • Researchers found regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and reduced stroke risk by 20 to 40 percent.
      • Another study found those who walked 30 or more minutes on five or more days per week had a 30 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regularly.
    • Your digestion improves.
      • A regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility.
    • When you become a regular walker, you establish a regular routine.
      • When you have a routine, you are more likely to continue with the activity and take on new healthy behaviors.

Mayo Clinic experts add these benefits about walking:

  • Improves your balance and coordination.
  • Strengthens your bones and muscles

I recommend walking because it’s simple and effective.

Except for certain disabilities and injuries, most of us can walk fine without any coaching.


© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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