Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Walking helps control weight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories per mile!
As an aerobic exercise, walking gets the heart beating faster to transport oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to the muscles. The heart and lungs grow more efficient with a regular walking regimen, reducing blood pressure and the resting heart rate.
For people with poor circulation to the arms and legs, walking can increase the size and improve the efficiency of the tiny vessels that supply blood for cellular respiration. Anyone diagnosed with poor circulation should see a doctor before beginning exercise walking.
Psychologically, the benefits of walking includes an overall feeling of well-being, and can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress by producing endorphins, the body’s natural tranquilizer. A brisk walk will relax you and stimulate your thinking.
Making sure that you have appropriate footwear and care for your feet before and after a walking regimen is so important!
Good general foot care must be maintained if you plan to subject your feet to a walking regimen. You should always make sure to dry your feet well after bathing, paying close attention to your toes – also, putting powder on before wearing closed toe shoes is always a great idea. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, it is best to wear thick, absorbent socks- preferably acrylic over cotton. Maladies that cause discomfort such as bunions and hammertoes should be evaluated by a podiatric physician before you begin to walk for aerobic exercise.
When buying shoes, they should always feel comfortable and fit well in the store. When the shoes are on your feet, they should fit snug at the heel. If it is sliding at all, it will cause discomfort later and possibly cause blisters and/or sores. You should also be able to wiggle your toes inside the shoe. If you have bunions or other special considerations, consult your podiatrist about the best shoe for you.