At the start of this year, i made a conscious decision to commit more time and effort to taking care of myself. I knew if i had to be more efficient then i will have to be the best version of me and that will mean not only feeding my spirit and soul but my body must be in top form too. There are six key aspects i address during my talks on “Loving yourself to Success” and one of them is Loving to TAKE GOOD CARE OF MYSELF (my body, spirit and soul).
We all are Spirit and we have souls and live in bodies. Healthy living is a result of balance and harmony of all three. A sound mind and whole soul as a result of an aligned spirit will be prisoned if the body is not whole or healthy. We all should have heard the adage that says “a healthy mind is in a healthy body.” Indeed, when our bodies are functioning well, when we do not feel any pain, we can express the wealth and riches proceeding from our spirits through our minds; on the contrary, when we are in pain, our bodies are weak, it gets almost impossible to go pass that state of our bodies to concentrate on something else. Usually such a state of the body indicates an inbalance in the whole being. Wholeness would therefore mean harmony of spirit , soul and body. That’s why we should take a good care of our bodies as we do our spirit and souls and pay enough attention to it.
When I love to TAKE GOOD CARE OF MYSELF, people will not treat ME like I am nobody.
There are different ways of taking care of the body , eating healthy, sleeping well, pampering yourself, exercises etc . I chosed walking as my fitness focus with a daily target of 10.000 steps. It has been progressing from 6000 – 7000 – 9000steps and it keeps going. According to an article on http://www.stylecraze.com “Top 20 Health Benefits of walking Daily” by Charushila Biswas an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, walking has benefits that span the entire being:
1. Improves Heart Health
Walking helps to improve your heart health. Irish scientists have reported that walking is the best exercise for sedentary individuals, especially adults, to reduce the risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases (2). In another study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, scientists confirmed that men and women of 65 years of age or older, who walked for at least 4 hours every week, were at less risk of cardiovascular disease (3). So, make sure to walk for 4 hours a week to keep heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke at bay.
2. Aids Weight Loss
Walking is a great exercise and helps you lose weight. American scientists designed an experiment where obese patients walked together (a concept known as the ‘walking bus’) to their destinations in and around the city. After 8 weeks, their weight was checked, and more than 50% of the participants lost an average of 5 pounds (4). Therefore, it might be a good idea to start walking to and from your nearby destinations, instead of driving your car.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure
Walking can also help lower blood pressure. Researchers from Wakayama Medical College, Japan conducted an experiment on individuals with mild hypertension, where 83 participants walked 10,000 steps per day for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure and increased stamina (5). Even if you are unable to complete 10,000 steps per day, you should walk for at least 60 minutes every day to keep your blood pressure levels in check.
4. Fights Cancer
Cancer has claimed over a million lives. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the causes of cancer, and this is where walking every day can help you. Scientists have found that walking can help in weight loss, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Walking has been found to be helpful for those undergoing cancer treatment by reducing the side effects of chemotherapy (6). It can also lower the risk of breast cancer.
5. Improves Circulation
Believe it or not, walking can actually increase your intelligence. Walking helps to supply the brain with the required amounts of oxygen and glucose, which helps it function better. It also decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol, which clogs arteries, and hence reduces the risk of stroke (7). So, walking can help improve blood circulation and the brain and cellular functions.
6. Reduces Risk Of Diabetes
A sedentary lifestyle has led to an exponential growth of one of the most common diseases – diabetes. Scientists recommend 3,000 to 7,500 steps a day to treat type 2 diabetes and suggest that you sit less and be more active (8). Walking every day can help control the blood sugar levels, which, in turn, can help you prevent type 2 diabetes.
7. Strengthens Bones
Your bones tend to become weaker as you age. But the good news is you can strengthen your bones by walking regularly. This low-impact exercise prevents loss of bone density, thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis, fracture, and injury. Since bones determine our framework, stronger and healthier bones help to improve posture, stamina, and balance (9). Walking can also prevent arthritis and reduce the accompanying pain.
8. Strengthens Muscles
Like bones, you can also experience loss of muscles as you age. Here too, walking can help you by strengthening and toning your muscles and preventing muscle loss. Regular walking can strengthen your leg and back muscles (10).
9. Improves Digestion
Improper digestion can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and even colon cancer. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your digestive system healthy. Apart from maintaining good food habits and drinking water, you should also walk to improve digestion. Walking after meals is great. It helps you reduce weight and also supports your digestive system (11) (12).
10. Boosts Immune Function
Your body’s immune system should function properly at all times to prevent infections, diseases, and death. Walking is a great way to boost your immunity. Walking at least 30 minutes a day can help bolster the activities of the immune cells, namely, the B-cells, T-cells, and the natural killer cells (13). It helps release the WBCs at a faster rate, thereby allowing your body to heal quickly (14).
11. Prevents Dementia
Dementia is a neurological condition characterized by gradual loss of memory and cognitive functions. It can eventually make you unable to perform day-to-day functions and totally dependent on others. Walking regularly at a moderate pace can help prevent dementia, improve memory, and build confidence in older individuals (15).
12. Increases Lung Capacity
Walking can also increase your lung capacity. When you walk, you breathe in more oxygen as compared to when you are stationary. This exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide at a larger volume can help increase your lung capacity, thereby increasing your stamina and exercise performance (16). The best part is, you don’t even have to run. A medium-paced 60-minute walk (with breaks, of course!) can do the trick.
13. Delays Aging
A study conducted with 17,000 Harvard graduates showed that students who walked for at least 30 minutes every day lived longer than those who were sedentary (17). Walking may or may not activate the telomerase enzyme, which is responsible for maintaining DNA integrity, an important factor in aging, but it helps prevent all age-related problems (18).
14. Helps Produce Vitamin D
Walking in the morning is a great opportunity for your body to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength and it prevents cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes type 1. So, it is very important that you get at least 10-15 minutes of morning sun exposure, and walking is the best way to do so.
15. Reduces Stress
Walking can help reduce the stress levels by improving circulation, which, in turn, provides nutrients and oxygen to the cells. It also stimulates the nervous system receptors and decreases the production of the stress hormones (19). Breathing in and out while walking also helps to breathe out the tension.
16. Uplifts Mood
Several scientific studies have proven that physical activity can help prevent depression. Walking is highly recommended by physicians and psychiatrists to help uplift mood. So, if you are feeling depressed or sad, you should just take a walk and get some fresh air to feel better (20).
17. Improves Memory
Japanese scientists have found that walking can help improve the memory of older patients (21). Physical exercise helps to increase the size of hippocampus while a sedentary lifestyle shrinks the hippocampus, leading to memory loss (22). So, walk every day to give your memory power a serious boost.
18. Increases Productivity
Walking regularly can also make you more active and energetic. This, in turn, can increase your productivity. Be it at school or work, your memory, agility, and your reaction to different stimuli will significantly change for the better.
19. Increases Your Creativity
Walking also helps to increase your creativity. It helps calm your nerves and relaxes your brain. When you walk, you don’t have the pressure of a deadline or meeting a certain expectation. This helps your brain to think strategically and in a more sorted way. So, if you are stuck with a problem, take a walk!
20. Builds Social Support
Walking can help you build social support and make new friends who will encourage you to walk every day. You will look forward to meeting them. Also, you can walk to support a social cause. At the end of the day, you will be filled with positive energy and peace.
It is clear from this list that walking can improve your health in many ways and i am glad i decided to commit myself to walking to a healthy life.
And you, what are you up to. is there some form of sporting activity you are engaged in? i will love to hear from you and the benefits as well.
i will also recommend you visit my friend Rachel Kieffer’s pages for awesome tips and guidance to wholesome health. She is currently hosting : 21 Days Of Loving Yourself Into Radiant Health!
You can Join the joyful journey of self-care with daily steps to create physical, emotional, mental or spiritual well-being.
Just do ONE THING a day and at the end of our 21 day journey your mindset will shift, you will feel inspired and your body, mind and soul will thrive. Sign up at Healthnutgirl.com
Here’s to loving yourself to Success.:)