Heart and Vascular Care
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Many of us know how important physical activity is. But we often feel too busy to include it in our daily lives. But prioritizing our health doesn’t mean spending hours every day at the gym.
As Cardiologist Dr. Harvey Hahn says, “Walking just 15 minutes a day has been shown to reduce your risk of developing health problems.”
Prevent heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two leading causes of this disease. Thankfully, walking can lower both your cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Walking also lowers blood sugar levels and helps maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Experts recommend adults do two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercises a week to prevent heart disease.
Walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week will significantly reduce your chances of developing heart disease. But you can still reap the health benefits of walking even if your schedule doesn’t allow for 30 minutes.
According to Dr. Hahn, even just half that amount of walking a day can improve your health, and possibly even add years to your life.
Improved quality of life
Walking is not only great for your heart health, but also your overall health, too. In the same way that it strengthens the heart, walking strengthens the muscles in our legs, hips, and feet, improving our balance and mobility.
The weighted impact of walking also strengthens our bones while still being easy on our joints. Keeping our bones strong reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis, which causes weak and brittle bones.
Along with our physical health, walking has also been shown to help our mental health. Physical activity causes our bodies to release endorphins, known as a feel-good neurotransmitter. This reduces pain and stress while increasing our overall mood.
“We also know that walking improves mood, aids sleep, increases cardiorespiratory fitness, and decreases dementia,” said Hahn.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of everyday life, but by prioritizing a short walk every day, we can significantly improve our health and live happier, longer lives.