Our feet are designed for walking, the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments in the foot are gently exercised by walking. Walking releases feel good endorphins and strengthens the heart and lungs.
Walking is the most ancient exercise and still the best, it requires no gym subscription, no spandex, Lycra or legwarmers and is an activity to which even the most fitness-phobic individual might not be averse. So what is the latest exercise trend that we are being encouraged to embrace for the good of our overall health? A daily stroll.
Walking has been predicted as this year’s biggest fitness trend and that we will be taking to pavements in hordes akin to the jogging boom of the 1970s. Indeed, high-profile personal trainers on both sides of the country can now be spotted marching their clients around parks and pavements.
The benefits of walking are countless. You use pretty much the same muscles as running – strengthening the hamstring, quadriceps, iliopsoas muscles at the front of the hips, calf and the gluteus maximus muscles with each stride – but the activity is far kinder to the joints. Walking strengthens and stabilises the muscles around your major joints, it reduces the wear and tear on the cartilage and minimises the risk of joint injury. “Humans were designed to walk,” says James Levine, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic college of medicine in Minnesota, who has studied the benefits. “We spent 7million years of our history walking and now, all of a sudden we are sitting down. That is having a profound effect on our health.”
A daily walk has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes and is the best exercise you can do for your body, your mind and overall health.
Keep on Walking.