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The Very Simple Wellness Practice That Will Help You Live Longer

Stephen Mugo Weru

You probably have several of them on your phone.

Health and wellness apps meant to help you improve your life. Did you know that you don’t need all these apps to lose weight, stay healthy or live longer?

All you need is to walk.

Yes, studies have shown that walking for an average of 30 minutes a day can help you live longer.

But how does lacing up your sneakers help you live longer?

Walking Helps You Burn Calories, Lose Weight

It may at first go unnoticed, but as you make walking a regular activity, your pants will start to fit more loosely around the waist.

Regular walking will help you burn calories and maintain a healthy body weight.

Walking Reduces Your Risk Of Chronic Diseases

Studies have shown that walking improves your body’s response to insulin and helps reduce the risk of diabetes.

Walking can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 20%.

Walking has also been shown to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reduce the risk of mortality.

Walking Boosts Your Immunity

Lacing up your sneakers can help you reduce the risk of developing certain diseases.

High-intensity interval walking can help the immune function of older adults with rheumatoid arthritis, according to Arthritis Research & Therapy. 

Walking will also save you a trip to the pharmacy during the flu season. By walking, you reduce your risk of developing the flu or cold.

Walking Helps Alleviate Joint Pain

You may not know it, but pounding the pavement can help protect your joints.

Walking increases blood flow to joints and helps strengthen muscles around them. A 2019 study found that older adults who walked for 15 minutes a day reported decreased lower body joint pain and improved mobility.

It Will Help You Live Longer

Would you like to live for 100 years?

Well, walking may be your secret weapon for reaching 100 years. Studies focusing on blue zones have found walking and getting outside to be the secret to a longer and healthier life.

Researchers have also found that brisk walking (at least 4 miles per hour) can help increase a person’s lifespan by 15-20 years.

Getting Started With Walking

Start with a 10-minute walk around your apartment or office. Every week add five more minutes to your walk and slowly increase your pace to enjoy the full benefits.

Is 10 minutes too short?

Why not start walking to work. Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey walks 5 miles to work three days a week.

You can make your walk a bit challenging by adding weights or an incline.

When going for a walk, make sure you either wear sneakers or walking shoes. When shopping for shoes, look for those that offer great support.

You should also consider your walking technique. Make sure that: 

  • Your head is up and facing forward.
  • You swing your arms freely.
  • Relax your neck, back and shoulders.

To increase your speed, take faster steps as opposed to longer strides.

Get Healthier One Step At A Time

It’s never too late to start improving your health.

Instead of spending the whole day in front of the TV, walk your dog.

Do you take public transport? Why not get off one stop earlier. If you use your car, why not park at the furthest end of the parking lot.

Just get off your feet and do some walking. It will improve your life.

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