Is walking one of the best exercises for heart health? Let’s explore this healthy exercise today and find out how it can benefit your heart.
Why does your heart need exercise?
Human beings aren’t meant to be the sedentary creatures we’ve become over the last 50 years or so. We have an amazing network of nerves, veins and muscles that keep us going. How we treat our body is how it is able to help us go.
People don’t often think about their heart like the muscle it is. It’s one of the strongest muscles in our body. It has to constrict a specific way and do so over 37 million times a year. We expect it to work flawlessly for years on end. The least we can do is help it out.
When any muscle is only worked one specific way for a long time, it weakens its ability to be used in other ways. It also wears in the same way. The same goes for the double fist sized muscle in your chest. Exercise, whether low, moderate or intense is a perfect way to help your heart adapt and strengthen as make it work in different patterns.
Can walking cause better health?
Walking is considered a healthy low impact exercise. It will keep your heart rate in a mild to moderate elevated pattern. That’s what you need for heart health. Multiple studies have shown walking for just 21 minutes a day cuts your odds for heart disease by a third. For every minute a day you briskly walk it can cut your obesity rate down by as much as 5%. Obesity is often a symptom of too sedentary a lifestyle (lack of exercise is definitely not the only cause of obesity) and being obese raises your risk of heart complications by as much as 49%.
Staying healthy is a culmination of several choices you take throughout your life. Low impact exercise, such as taking a daily walk, is one of the easier choices to me.
Can you walk too much for your heart?
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. You can overwork your muscles and wear yourself down to a nub.
It’s a little difficult to walk too much but it can be done. Basically, try to keep your walking routine within reasonable limits. On average a normal person is awake 15-18 hours a day. Of that alert time, you should be physically active often but it shouldn’t be the majority of your day most days. So, if you tend to have an already active day, you really only should add 20-60 minutes of further activity to that.
I used to work a stocking job where I was walking, bending, hauling and doing a physical job for 7 and a half hours. On top of that I would exercise 18-70 minutes 5-6 days a week. I was in the best physical shape of my life then.
You may be able to get away with more, but listen to your body and rest when it asks you to.
Why choose walking?
It’s generally something you can easily add to your day. Walking will keep your heart rate in a healthy elevated zone that will work it in needed ways.
Mostly, though, you should choose an exercise routine that you can and will stick to. It’s no good to challenge your heart inconsistently- that actually may do more harm than good in the long run.
Walks are something almost everyone can do on a daily basis in varying amounts. That consistency will pay dividends to your heart health.
Is walking the key to heart health?
There’s no single key to unlock health- heart and otherwise. Diet, supplements, exercise and checkups are all separate keys you need to function at full health. If there is one answer that works hardest for for health overall, though, walking is it. In a pie chart, walking would be the biggest slice.
More and more health experts agree, walking gives you way more benefits than most other health pursuits when you do it regularly. If you care about your heart health, give walking a chance.
Can’t wait to see you strolling along,