Eco-friendly city living

Benefits of Walking in a New Urban Community

One of the main tenets of new urbanism is having walkable neighborhoods and gathering areas. It’s great for the community for so many reasons, but it’s also great for your health.

Experts recommend 90 minutes of physical exercise each week, and walking is a perfect way to fulfill that need. Walking is a simple exercise that has amazing benefits. The good thing is that all you need is a pair of good shoes to stay fit. What are the benefits of walking?

Better weight management
Walking at a moderate speed for 30 minutes will burn 150-200 calories. This is important in keeping weight manageable (which can be hard when you like to eat like I do). Walking boosts your Basic Metabolic Rate which means that you keep burning calories even when at rest. A study by the University of Utah showed that women who walk briskly as part of their normal daily activities cut down the risk to obesity by 5%.

Your body responds better to the body sugar controlling hormone insulin. You will keep your weight manageable or even reduce it if you combine walking with a good diet. Reduced weight and better insulin functionality reduce the risk to Type-2 diabetes.

Better cardiovascular health
A Harvard study showed that walking for 20 minutes a day reduces the risk of heart disease by 30%. The slight strain that is brought on by walking conditions your heart to beat more efficiently, meaning that your blood pressure levels remain stable. An added benefit of good cardiovascular health is that you are at lower risk of a stroke.

Lower cancer risk
A study done on women by researchers at Harvard University showed that women who walk 1-3 hours a week had a lowered risk of developing breast and uterine cancer by 19%. Those who walked 3-5 hours in a week had a 54% less chance of developing these two cancers. When I hear stats like this, it makes me even happier that I live where I do.

Better immunity
Walking boosts the production of white blood cells which boosts immunity to common diseases. A study by the Appalachian State University showed that people who walked for 20 minutes a day reduced the risk of developing common illnesses by 43%.

Better memory
A 2011 study published by the National Academy of Sciences showed that walking at least 40 minute sessions for 3 times a week increased the volume of the hippocampus by 2%. Another study in 2014 showed that men aged 60-80 who walked at least 3 times a week had better planning and memory than those who did not walk.

Better moods
Physical exercise encourages the production of the feel good hormones called endorphins. This gives a natural high that lifts your moods and makes the day brighter. There is also the boost in confidence in being fit and healthy.

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