Walking as a healthy form of physical activity began to receive attention in the 1990s and has since gained traction due to the many health benefits that it offers! Cahoots has recently launched a Step-A-Thon to help keep us moving and enjoying the many benefits of being active! Whether that be walking, stepping, riding or moving in your own way, the goal is to challenge ourselves and continue enjoying the benefits of maintaining movement and encouraging physical health!
“Walking has the potential to have a large public health impact due to its accessibility, its documented health benefits, and the fact that effective programs to promote walking already exist.” (LEE & BUCHNER, 2008)
1. Your Mental Health Improves
Numerous studies demonstrate that exercise targets many aspects of brain function and has broad effects on overall brain health. Some of the benefits to your brain include:
- alleviation of depression
- increases synaptic plasticity
- prevent or delay loss of cognitive function with aging or neurodegenerative disease
Thus, through regulation of growth factors and reduction of peripheral and central risk factors, exercise ensures successful brain function.” (Cotman, 2007)
2. Your Physical Health Improves
Modern lifestyle, with its lack of everyday physical activity and exercise training, predisposes people to chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, and coronary artery diseases. Brisk walking as a simple and safe form of exercise is undisputedly an effective measure to counteract sedentary lifestyle risks even in the most unfit and could lead to a reduction of the prevalence of chronic diseases in all populations. (Tschentscher, Niederseer & Niebauer, 2013)
3. Your Risk of Becoming Sick Reduces
Not only does exercise improve your mental health, it also improves your physical health. In particular it makes you more resistant to disease and reduces your risk of falling ill.
“Aerobic exercise reduces blood pressure in both hypertensive and normotensive persons. An increase in aerobic physical activity should be considered an important component of lifestyle modification for prevention and treatment of high blood pressure.” (Whelton, Chin, Xin & He, 2002)
“There is much evidence that a moderate amount of exercise is needed for the maintenance of functional integrity of the cardiovascular system, muscles, bones, and ligaments” (HOLLOSZY, 1993)
4. You Become More Creative
Did you know that getting out and walking as a form of moderate exercise can actually make you more creative!?
In an experiment conducted by Oppezzo & Schwartz, 2014 it showed that when, “Participants sat inside, walked on a treadmill inside, walked outside, or were rolled outside in a wheelchair…the effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable. Walking (or being outside in a wheelchair) opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
5. You Make A Difference in the Lives of Young People with Disabilities
That’s right! By signing up to Cahoots Step-A-Thon and simply tracking your steps in your own space and your own time, you not only receive all the benefits that come along with the exercise but you will also be able to help young people living with disabilities to receive the essential services that they need. To find out more click here.
Cotman, C. (2007). Corrigendum: Exercise builds brain health: key roles of growth factor cascades and inflammation. Trends In Neurosciences, 30(10), 489. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2007.09.001
Enright, S., Chatham, K., Ionescu, A., Unnithan, V., & Shale, D. (2004). Inspiratory Muscle Training Improves Lung Function and Exercise Capacity in Adults With Cystic Fibrosis. Chest, 126(2), 405-411. doi: 10.1378/chest.126.2.405
HOLLOSZY, J. (1993). Exercise, health, and aging. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 25(5), 538???542. doi: 10.1249/00005768-199305000-00002
LEE, I., & BUCHNER, D. (2008). The Importance of Walking to Public Health. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 40(Supplement), S512-S518. doi: 10.1249/mss.0b013e31817c65d0
Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, And Cognition, 40(4), 1142-1152. doi: 10.1037/a0036577
Tschentscher, M., Niederseer, D., & Niebauer, J. (2013). Health Benefits of Nordic Walking. American Journal Of Preventive Medicine, 44(1), 76-84. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.043
van Praag, H. (2009). Exercise and the brain: something to chew on. Trends In Neurosciences, 32(5), 283-290. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.12.007
Whelton, S., Chin, A., Xin, X., & He, J. (2002). Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Blood Pressure. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 136(7), 493. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-136-7-200204020-00006