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What Walking Can Do for You

Walking can help you improve your overall health. Learn about five great benefits that you will enjoy when you walk on a regular basis. In many cases, the longer you walk, the more benefits you will receive. Here’s what happens to your body when you take a walk.

1. The first 5 minutes

As you begin your walk, you will initially experience a release of certain energy-producing chemicals into your system. These chemicals will give you the energy you need to get going. Your heart rate will rise from about 70 beats per minute to around 100 beats per minute. Your joints begin to loosen as a lubricating fluid is released. Your body begins to burn carbs and fat from storage.

2. The next 5 minutes (Minutes 6-10)

As you progress through your walk, you will find that your heart rate may increase up to as many as 140 beats per minute. You will be burning about 6 calories a minute as you begin to move a little faster. Your blood pressure will increase slightly, but the effects of this are counteracted by certain chemicals that are released which will bring more blood and oxygen to your muscles as they increase their workload.

3. The next 10 minutes (Minutes 11-20)

Your body temperature will now begin to rise, and you will probably start to sweat as your blood vessels near the surface of the skin expand and release your body heat. You will be moving a little more quickly and now be burning up to 7 calories per minute. You will notice that your breathing is quickening. Your body will now start releasing hormones like epinephrine and glucagon which help to continue to fuel your muscles.

4. The next 25 minutes (Minutes 21-45)

By now, you are feeling quite energized, and your body has begun to relax and release tension. This is mainly due to the chemicals that are released in your brain and are making you feel good, these are called endorphins. As you continue to burn fat, your insulin levels drop. This is important for anyone trying to lose weight or maintain healthy blood sugars if they have diabetes.

5. The next 15 minutes (Minutes 45-60)

If you can make it this long on your walk, you might notice that you are beginning to feel fatigued. Your carb stores are lower, and your body will burn fewer calories as it begins to prepare to rest. You should be cooling down now, and your heart rate will gradually reduce to normal levels. You will continue to burn calories at a higher rate for at least the next hour or so.

Walking is an excellent form of exercise, and as you can see from this description, each few minutes of your walk will bring different benefits. Get in the habit of walking regularly for best results!