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11 facts about walking we bet you didn’t know


Getting up early morning and going for a 20-minute minute walk is what most of us do (or wish to do). Walking is undoubtedly a healthy way to start and even end your day as it has numerous health benefits. But how often should you walk to lose weight? What is healthy — walking at night or morning? What is the right time of the day to walk? And there are many more questions. Here are 10 such things that you didn’t know about walking.

Don’t walk at constant speed: According to researchers at the Ohio State University, varying your speed while walking burns more calories. You can burn around 20% more calories if you vary your speed as compared to walking at a steady pace. To further burn calories, you can walk in a curved path rather than a straight one or walk with a backpack.

Night walks effective for losing belly fat: Walking is good for health, but night walks have an edge over morning walks as it aids digestion. All you need to do is walk for 15 minutes every night after dinner and it will help you lose belly fat, says Dr Akshat Chadha, Hope and Care Clinic, Navi Mumbai. It burns more calories and controls belly fat by causing less deposition on the belly. Here are 8 things you MUST do before going to bed!

Remember to stretch before your walk: Most people tend to stretch only before exercises, playing sports or gymming but not walking. However, this is not right as stretching helps you loosens up your muscles, thereby preventing muscle soreness or pain. Here’s why you complain of sore muscles and leg pain after every few days of walking.

Walk before dinner to lose weight: Trying hard to shed those kilos? If yes, start going for a 20-minute walk before your dinner. It not only improves your metabolism but also burns off extra calories, revealed a study conducted by the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Walking before dinner not only increases your body temperature but also decreases your appetite, which in turn increases your feeling of fullness with a light meal. If you are a diabetic, don’t walk on an empty stomach.

Walk right to lose right: Yes, you have to walk the right way to lose weight in the right manner. Maintain a correct posture with your arms moving sideways and your chin parallel to the ground. Ensure your elbows are close to your body. Here’s more on the right way to walk and lose weight.

Need no special shoes to walk: Unlike running, walking doesn’t need shock absorbent and thus, no need for special shoes. However, if you had any past injury, then better opt for ones with a comfortable fit. And yes, no flip-flops or open sandals while walking. Invest in a good pair of sneakers or sports shoes. Also read about how to buy the right shoes for running, walking, gym workouts and more.

Walk stress-free: Do you feel that walking to your way to work or going back home also counts as walking. Well, it does not, as most of you might leave your home earlier in the morning thinking being late to office or going back home feeling what to cook now. With numerous thoughts floating in your mind, you might not reap the benefits of walking stress-free for a 15 minutes in a park or on a road.

Ditch the treadmill and walk in a park: Have a treadmill at your place and feel walking on it is enough to complete your daily dose of regular activity. Yes, but you can’t get the added benefits of going for a walk outdoors (and in fresh open air). A study published in the journal Health and Place showed that connecting with the green and blue space outside improves your overall health and also helps you to deal with chronic illness during old age.

Soak up some sun as you walk: Researcher at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh in Britain suggested that exposure to sunlight changes the blood levels of nitric oxide (NO) which in turn lower your blood pressure. Your skin is the storehouse of nitric acid and when exposed to sunlight, causes the release of NO from the skin to circulate in the blood.

Say no to shoes and sandals: Why do you want to wear your shoes and sandals when you can walk on the grass? Dr Anjali Sharma, senior consultant, Naturopathy, Sri Balaji action medical institute, Delhi says,‘Walking on the grass stimulates the nerve endings and helps your body stay in equilibrium’. The fresh air, exposure to sunlight and the green colour of the grass helps you to relax by releasing hormones that soothe your mind and body. Here are more reasons why walking on grass is good for your health.

Walk for 10 minutes every three hours: Sitting for long hours or being virtually inactive for more than four hours not only slows down your metabolism but also increases your risk of various lifestyle diseases. This is the reason why you should walk for at least 10 minutes every three hours as it improves your overall health along with shrinking your waistline. The study published in Diabetologia proved that interval training is better than walking at a continuous speed as it aids in better management of  blood sugar in type 2 diabetics.

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