The Benefits of Walking
Walking is one of the simplest ways to add exercise into your routine and improve your overall circulation, no matter your age or fitness level. Research has shown that the benefits of walking, even just 5 minutes a day, can be great for your health.
In addition to improving your circulation and blood flow throughout your body, here are other health benefits you can gain from making a simple lifestyle modification such as incorporating walking into your routine:
- Lower your blood sugar
- Strengthen your heart
- Boost immune system
- Burn calories
- Boost your energy
- Improve your mood
- Extend your life.
With improved circulation, you will increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your lungs, heart and muscles, which helps them to work properly. Increased blood flow also helps your body fight off potential diseases and can prevent or manage the symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.). P.A.D. is a chronic disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries to the legs preventing normal circulation of blood to those limbs.
“P.A.D. is definitely a disease that can be managed with lifestyle modifications,” said Dr. Michael Peck, PVA Vascular Surgeon. “And one of those modifications is exercise. For example, with P.A.D and leg circulation problems it’s a good idea to walk for 30 minutes continuously, 3-5 times a week and build from there.”
To get started, all you need is a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothing. Choose a walking route near your home. Or look for a scenic place to walk in your area, such as a trail or on the beach. You can also recruit a friend or family member to reap the benefits of walking with you and hold you accountable.
“One of the things I encourage my patients to do when they start walking is to keep their house in the center and then walk back and forth from your house in case you get stuck or tired, you’re not too far away from your house,” said Dr. Gabriel Bietz, PVA Vascular Surgeon. “And also keep a phone on you in case you ever need anything, you can quickly make a phone call.”
Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise to improve your vascular health. Every step counts, so start walking today towards better health.
Watch our video “P.A.D. Lifestyle Modifications, Part 1, Exercise” on the PVA Channel to find additional helpful tips: https://youtu.be/M71kgC51o2Y
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