Everyone is aware of the benefits of walking. But take into account how many people you know who perform it every day or every week.
Walking is your best friend whether you want to increase happiness, relieve stress, clear your mind, or even lower your blood sugar.
We’ll examine the report’s findings today to respond to the following queries:
How might taking a stroll help me gain new perspective and get “unstuck” in life?
How might incorporating walks into my daily schedule benefit my metabolic health?
How far should I walk in order to get the most benefits in the least amount of time?
You might be surprised to hear that it takes very little time or effort to make the most of walking.
But first, let’s examine why walking is so undervalued and why we ought to do it more frequently.
Walking Gives Us Perspective
I, like many of you, do most of my work on a computer or mobile device, and I’ve found that sitting for long periods of time may make my mind (and body) feel stagnant, which in turn reduces my output.
When I need to get my creative juices flowing or get my bearings, I go for a quick 5-minute walk around the block. When I do meditate, however, I always feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. (As an aside, Brenden Bruchard found in the largest survey of high performers ever that on average they break for a few minutes every 45 to 60 minutes.)
Taking a walk in the fresh air not only helps us reset, but is also a great opportunity to practice gratitude and mindfulness. It’s a great chance to relax and think about solutions to our difficulties. Walking helps me get perspective and calm when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
A form of therapy called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was conceptualized as a walk-based approach. Do you know what it is?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an evidence-based treatment for traumatic memories and post-traumatic stress disorder. Describe EMDR in further depth.
Dr. Francine Shapiro, an American psychologist, developed EMDR after she found that walking helped her think about and cope with traumatic experiences. Because of this, she decided to investigate EMDR for PTSD among veterans using a brand new methodology.
Walking Improves Our Metabolic Health
I could go on and on about how walking is good for our health, but today I want to talk about how walking after meals may have a big effect on your metabolic health, which is important for living the long, happy, and healthy lives we all deserve.
The fact that 88% of Americans have metabolic syndrome is a shame. This condition gets worse when people eat a Western diet and don’t move enough .
About 42% of the energy used in the United States comes from refined starches and sugars, most of which come from processed and packed foods like cereals, wheat, and sugar . These carbs are quickly taken into the bloodstream and turned into sugar.
Our metabolisms can handle an occasional blood sugar spike (that’s why we have insulin to bring it back down), but a diet that includes them often puts us at risk for major problems from hyperglycemia and insulin resistance . Because of this, insulin resistance gets worse over time and becomes chronic.
How Walking Influences Blood Glucose
Some workers at Levels, a company that makes continuous glucose monitors, went for a walk after lunch and then had their blood glucose levels and reaction times checked. Within an hour of getting up, each of the eleven people took part drank a whole can of Coke, which has 39 grams of sugar. Then they took a walk.
After walking for 30 minutes to 2 hours, the people in the study checked their blood sugar levels with a constant glucose monitor. On a different day, the volunteers drank a can of Coke after going without food for 24 hours, but this time they were quiet for two hours.
The effects were out of this world! Walking decreased blood glucose levels by 20% compared to sitting (130 mg/dL vs. 160 mg/dL). There is no other drug on Earth that can do the same thing.
So, what’s going on to make this happen?
Walking boosts your metabolism, blood flow, and the amount of energy your muscles get by 8%. Your muscles soak up the glucose in your blood like a sponge, which lets them contract and move. Also, when your insulin sensitivity gets better, you’ll receive glucose with less insulin, which is usually a good thing.
So, going for a walk can lower the rise in blood sugar that could happen after eating something sweet by a lot. Also, increasing insulin sensitivity has the unexpected effect of making it less likely that a person will become insulin resistant.
It’s important to know that walking and other forms of physical exercise don’t have the same effects on blood sugar and insulin as eating does. It is true, though, that fasting makes it easier to burn fat when you work out. (I’ll talk about this in more depth later.)