Articles on walking

10 Healthy Benefits of Walking Daily

Dr. Yogesh Kumar, Ayurveda
Daily walking is the best exercise for health. It is a great exercise and it keeps the body away from diseases. As simple and easy may it seem but do you know why and how walking keeps you healthy?Continue to read this article to know more.10 Benefits of daily walkingWalking everyday for one hour can help you loose around five to seven kilograms of excess weight. Walking keeps away obesity, high blood pressure and heart diseases.Daily walking decreases the estrogen hormone in women which can decrease the risk of breast cancer after menopause.Daily walking maintains the serotonin level which keeps stress and high blood pressure in check. It also decreases the cholesterol by increasing” High density Lipoprotein”.Scientific studies have shown that walking increases the T-cells which slow down the AIDS virus.Walking induces increased blood flow and flexibility in the muscles.Walking refreshes the mind and body. It increases the body’s defense to fight against the diseases. It increases the secretions of the adrenal gland which relieves the stress. Walking induces the movement and friction of joints which forms new joint lubricants and hence restricts joint lock. Walking slows down the degeneration of the bones and fights from Osteoporosis.Waking induces the heavy breathing which fills the lungs with oxygen and increase the lung capacity, so it is a good exercise for the lungs.Heart patients are advised not to walk straight after the meal because the blood flows towards the digestive system to digest the food. Walking straight after having a meal can stress out the heart.You should dress accordingly to the walking. Shoes, clothing, proper walking technique and posture are very important. Always carry a water bottle so that you do not get dehydrated.A few medical terms used in this article, you should know about:Osteoporosis: A disease in which the bones get too porous and weak.Menopause: Is the time when the menstrual cycle stops permanently in women.

Health Benefits of Walking After Meals

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Researchers have found that going for a short walk of 10-15 minutes post meals not only benefits the digestion process but also helps in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Walking post meals have been found to increase the rate at which food particles move through the stomach. In most cultures post meal drinks like tea, a coffee or light liqueur is served to promote digestion. Recent studies published on post meal drinks have found no effect of such beverages on the digestion process.Blood sugar typically rises and then falls after eating, but large spikes and variations can raise cardiovascular risk and potentially signal diabetes. 15 minutes of walking post dinner can help lower after meal blood sugar levels especially in people with type 2 diabetes. Read to know 9 wonder foods for diabetes.Overweight adults with a sedentary lifestyle can manage their blood sugar levels and weight by some extent, just by walking post meals instead of watching television or lying on the couch.Best way to do is give a gap of about 20 minutes to half an hour before going for a walk. 10-15 minutes of light walking is ideal post major meals. Avoid walking immediately post meals as it may result in acid reflux or indigestion.Walking post dinner also helps as a sleep inducer and makes you sleep faster and deeper.Fun ways to make walking a habitMake an office walking group: It can be a group of 2 or 5 of your work place companions or family members, if at home.Add little incentives that will help form the habit.If weather does not permit or you cannot find an outside suitable location, choose stairwell, mall or an indoor track to walk.Small practices followed on daily basis can bring remarkable, positive changes to your overall health. Remember to walk post your meals.

Does Walking Help in Losing Weight?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
In a recent survey among urban Indians, walking was the most common physical activity and possibly the most favoured too, because it does not require extra equipment. You literally use only your body to exert yourself and build stamina.So, we know that walking burns calories that are stored in the body as fat. Then why don’t all morning walkers lose fat? Some remain the same even after years of walking. In all frankness most people go for walks to stay healthy and fit, but the question is – Does walking really help in losing weight?Walking is healthy for sure but its effectiveness depends on a lot of other factors. Read on to know how to make the most of your morning and evening walks:Duration of walking: If you get down to the actual numbers, an average person burns around 4-5 calories per minute during brisk walks. So, 15 minutes of brisk walking burns about 70 calories, which is fewer calories than a slice of bread! To really make a difference, you need to walk for at least 45-60 minutes at a stretch.Speed of walking: The faster you move, the more calories you burn per minute. Leisurely walks burn about 3 calories per minute; brisk walking burns almost 50% more. Similarly, jogging would burn another 50% and running even more so.Post-walk snacks: Most morning walkers have a habit of treating themselves to snacks like chai-samosa after morning walk, which essentially nullifies your walk. 45 minutes of brisk walking burns 200 calories, whereas a samosa and a cup of chai add back 200-250 calories or more! Better alternatives are fruits or your regular meal.Watch your diet: There are many people out there who work out rigorously but don’t lose nearly as much. That’s simply because their calorie intake is more than what they burn. Consider this: an hour of brisk walking burns 250 calories. In terms of food calories, that’s two slices of bread and an egg. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. So, keep your workout to 45-60 minutes and make sure that you eat healthy and in moderation.Pair your walksOur bodies adapt naturally to any routine. Sounds impressive, but it’s counter-productive if you’re trying to burn calories. Your body just gets adjusted to your walking pattern and ends up burning fewer calories for the same distance. Try a mix of other exercises like yoga, running, weights or sports. It keeps your body guessing, keeps your metabolic rate high and burns more calories! If need be, you can use a health app to track your diet, calorie intake and fitness progress.

Why You Should Start!

Dr. Alpa Dawda, General Physician
Ever wondered what happens to your body when you start walking?Here's a minute-by-minute rundown of the amazing chain reaction walking and exercise has upon your body, it's truly amazing!Minutes 1 to 5Your first few steps trigger the release of energy-producing chemicals in your cells to fuel your walk. Your heart rate revs-up from about 70 to 100 beats per minute (bpm), boosting blood-flow and warming muscles.Any stiffness subsides as joints release lubricating fluid to help you move more easily. As you get moving, your body burns 5 calories per minute, compared with only 1 per minute at rest. Your body needs more fuel and starts pulling from its carbohydrates and fat stores.Minutes 6 to 10Heartbeat increases from 100 to about 140 bpm, and you're burning up to 6 calories a minute as you pick up the pace. A slight rise in blood pressure is countered by the release of chemicals that expand blood vessels, bringing more blood and oxygen to working muscles.Minutes 11 to 20Your body temperature keeps rising, and you start to perspire as blood vessels near the skin expand to release heat. As your walk becomes brisker, you'll be burning up to 7 calories a minute and breathing harder. Hormones such as epinephrine and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles.Minutes 21 to 45Feeling invigorated, you start to relax as your body releases tension, thanks in part to a dose of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins in your brain. As more fat is burned, insulin (which helps store fat) drops--excellent news for anyone battling excess weight or diabetes.Minutes 46 to 60Your muscles may feel fatigued as carbohydrates stores are reduced. As you cool down, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows. You'll be burning fewer calories but more than you were before you started. Your calorie burn will remain elevated for up to 1 hour. Dr. Alps (Please note: The column is based on my survey with my patients. Please don't follow this blindly. If  you have any health ailments, consult your doctor before starting.) 

What Is Better and More Effective Than Walking?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many people include walking in their routine because they think this will help them manage their weight. But did you know that simply walking everyday is not sufficient to shed those pounds, unless you are actually following a strictly balanced and healthy diet. Check out some options that might be more effective than walking, to accelerate your fat loss.1. JoggingJogging burns more calories than walking for the same amount of time spent. It increases your body temperature, which in turn helps your muscles burn more calories. It even provides more benefits for heart health. But, if you are older in age or have any medical condition always consult your doctor before starting any new physical routine.2. Skipping ropeSkipping rope is a great cardiovascular exercise. It is a great exercise to improve your endurance also. Since you jump up every few moments while skipping, it puts more pressure on your muscles as compared to walking. It also helps your body to burn way more calories than walking. You can skip rope for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds; this will help you in maintaining your stamina and speed.3. Spot JumpingThis is a strenuous aerobic exercise that can help you in managing your weight. It increases your heart rate and your heart has to work harder to transport oxygenated blood. This helps you in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. If you are overweight and have any medical condition then do this exercise in intervals.4. HoppingIt is an exercise which involves jumping on one leg at a time. It puts extra stress on one leg at the time of the jump as the entire body weight will be on that single leg. It works on your core, leg muscles and helps improve overall balance. Include intervals while doing this exercise. You can hop for 30 seconds on one leg, the rest for 20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.5. CyclingCycling is a low impact exercise and does not put much stress on joints as compared to running. It increases calorie burn and also raises the metabolic rate, which helps in managing your weight. It also provides strength to your muscles and tones them. But before you start cycling in the outdoors, make sure you are wearing sufficient protective gear.Including any physical activity in your routine is the key to managing your weight and keeping various lifestyle ailments away.

7 Tips Walk Off Your Fat

Dr. Kambhampati B S Srinivas, Orthopedist
Walking is one of the commonest form of exercising in India. Although it comes naturally to all of us, it must be remembered that walking normally is not the same as walking for exercise. There are two forms of walking for exercise -  slow walking and fast walking (this includes Power walking and Race walking). Both Power and Race walking burn more calories (sometimes more than jogging) and the technique of both these forms is different from normal walking. They are great forms of cardiovascular exercise like jogging but without the wear and tear associated with it. The advantage of slow walking is that it can be done by both non-obese and morbidly obese persons with minimal risk of injuries compared to other forms of exercise. The benefits of walking include preventing and reversing chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease and losing weight. Tips for Walking Preparation:1. Preparing for a walk is important in terms of making yourself fit for this form of exercise. Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption maximises the benefits of exercise. Having a balanced diet with fresh small frequent meals rich in iron is beneficial. Hydrate yourself well before the walk. 2. Your attire should include foot trainers with cushioned heels/ socks. Overall, the footwear should be comfortable. Clipping nails of toes short will prevent nail related problems. If required, you can smear foot with vaseline to reduce friction between the footwear and your foot.Walking technique:3.Maintaining a good posture and technique is vital. Otherwise you would predispose yourself to develop Repetitive Strain Injuries in your body due to the poor technique of walking. If you are not sure about your posture and technique, you should consult your physio/ orthopedist whether you can pursue this form of exercise. Enquire regarding the proper posture and technique and the technique suited for you. It is beyond the scope of this article to describe the details of the technique. Important tips about technique include  maximising your arm swing to aid your progress and pointing your feet forward while you progress. Other aspects of technique, only to mention a few, include the distance you put your foot forward (length of the step), the direction and line of the step, point of contact of your foot to the ground, line of progress of the foot in relation to your shoulder . Before embarking on a prolonged exercising regime, corrective steps may be required if the alignment of your limbs is not right. 4. Start slow and gradually increase the pace, duration and distance walked over a period of time. The recommended duration is 30 minutes of brisk walking for 5 days a week.  For accuracy, you could use a stopwatch/ metronome/ pedometer to time/ set pace and count steps of your walk to compare and better your performance each time. 5. Walking on a flat terrain is better and reduces chances of twisting your ankle (esp. on irregular surfaces). Long walks uphill can strain your back. Early morning walks are better, preferably in parks or gardens, for your physiology and also in getting fresh air. Avoid walking in very hot/ very cold temperatures and on rainy days to prevent injuries.6. If you have medical problems, always consult your physician if it is safe for you to do this form of exercise and the precautions to be taken during exercise.7. Walking with a partner or mobile phone is recommended especially if you have medical problems. Its advisable to carry a packet of Glucose and water to avoid hypoglycaemia (low glucose levels in blood) and dehydration. Know your limits and do not push yourself too hard especially when walking with company.

Batman Eyes? Here Is What You Need to Know About Dark Circles

Dr. Pradnya Shastri, Dermatologist
Know the newest villain on the block?STRESS!Stress was considered as the disease of the 'adults'... but now we see even school going children being emotionally and mentally overburdened by parents and teachers alike. We see teenagers overburdened by the 'need' of looking perfect for college. We see young professionls being 'coaxed' to look their best in front of clients... so on and so forth. I have so many people walk in to my clinic and tell me, "Doctor... Dark circles ka kya karu?"I smile at them and ask them the following questions: (Attention please: I know many of you might stop reading this article the moment you see the first question... but kindly refrain from doing so. Why? You will know by the end of the read.)1. What is your life style like?Every time I ask this question people cringe. Erratic, bad, irregular etc are all the answers that I get. Rarely I hear people say good, usually regular, I try as much as possible etc,. And when I hear  such 'positive' replies I get curious... and then I ask:2. What do you mean by regular?Oh I sleep 8 hours, I eat all home made food, I walk from my home to the local train station etc,. are the usual responses I get. I smile because these are the so called 'positive' responses  I was expecting and funnily these aren't so called 'good or healthy' habits!Did you know:Sleeping at the right time is important!1. Sleeping 8 hours doesnt mean that you are sleeping right! Your body is like a car. If a car running on the highway needs rest after certain hours of driving what do you do? You stop at a chai thela or you stop at a dhaba... you don't say 'let me just run it and I shall stop only when I reach my final destination' because the car will overheat and breakdown. Similarly your body needs rest! AT THE RIGHT TIME! Which means that you need to sleep latest by 10:30 p.m. and wake up by 6 a.m.. Sleeping from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning gives you your 7 hours of sleep... but in the long run it doesn't do you any good.2. Eating home food doesn't necessarily mean you are on the right track. WHEN YOU EAT this food is important. Skipping breakfast has become a trend. 90% of patients that come to me tell me that they do not have breakfast! Let's take the analogy of your car again... If the car is to be run in the day when you do add petrol to it? The first thing in the morning right? Similarly when your body is all geared up for a long day of work you need to have a healthy balanced breakfast so that it gets the fuel to run through the day. Else a breakdown in inevitable in the form of illnesses. Also, having dinner at the right time is also very important. At the expense of sounding loony, I insist on having dinner latest 7 or 8 p.m. in the night. Even if you are a corporate office worker! How is the possible? Like you carry your lunch .... carry your dinner as well! I know it sounds like a hassle... but try it! You will never go back to eating a full fledged late dinner. Understand that 're-fuelling' at the right time is very important! 3. Walking from home to the local train station while going to work, walking from home to the grocery shop etc,. doesn't count as 'exercise'! For your heart to remain healthy you need to add some cardiovascular activity to you daily routine like jogging, running, zumba, dancing etc. Walking is useful when you are walking fast, at a constant speed and when your heart rate is more than a 100 beats per minute. Walking to work and walking to buy groceries doesn't raise your heart rate to more than 100! Don't believe me? Trying counting your pulse at the end of a 15 min casual walk... It will be less than 100. Less than 100 means your heart isn't getting exercised enough. For all those who go to the gym, let me clarify that just because you 'weight train' doesn't mean you are exercising your heart... it means that you are exercising your skeletal muscles. Remember that there has to be a healthy balance between a cardiovascular activity and weight training. Dark circles so far were considered as only a cosmetic problem. But today they are considered as signs of a poor health. They can be a part of a condition called Pseudoacanthosis Nigricans, which means that there is very high possibility of you developing diabetes at an early age... not to mention blood pressure too.  But of course, there is the usual 'heredity' factor that also plays a role. In that case, it is difficult to treat dark circles... but hey, have you truly tried modifying your life style? Try... even if it doesn't help you get rid of the circles it might surely help reducing it! So if you have been buying under eye creams, going to beauticians, or even going to doctors  remember that solutions needn't be expensive or time consuming... sometimes  simple steps help you go a long way! - Dr Pradnya

How Much Should You Walk to Lose Weight?

Dr. Richa Garg, Ayurveda
One of the harmless forms of exercise nowadays is walking. You can lose 500 grams per week or more, dependent on how often you walk. Only with walking you can lose more than 8 kg in five months without going at the gym.You can tone your muscles and improve your health while shedding kgs and inches from your body. You will love this easy and beneficial exercise routine once you learn how to implement the principles of walking to lose weight into your life.How to Lose Weight by WalkingNumber of calories that can be burn with walking depends on your body weight and walking place. Normally if you walk with speed of 5 km per hour (regular speed) you can burn around 400 calories per hour.But you don’t need to go only 5km a day. For example, if you walk plus 3 km, you can burn extra 300 calories per day. Also you can walk a shorter distance, just combine it with your schedule. There is a device called pedometer (available in clinic for sale)to help you to burn some extra calories while walking and doing your daily plan.Pedometers and Weight LossIf you are attempting to get in shape with walking, one of the best things that you can do to help to increase the chances for your efforts is to go out and purchase a quality pedometer or a wrist band that can track your everyday exercises.Pedometer is a useful gadget that you place to your outfit close to your hip region. It is light weight and has a lot of features. The important feature is checking the quantity of steps you take amid your workout or through your whole day.If you want to find out how many miles you need to lose extra kgs, you have to figure out how many you are currently covering. Like this, you will see how much you have to expand your steps, or distance every day to see bettering in the number on the scale.So, if you take 8,000 steps with your current routine and daily habits and are keeping weight, the quantity of steps that you have to expand your daily distance to get thinner is just an issue of math; expanding your mileage as per the quantity of calories you need to burn (more details on that below).How Many Steps To Take to Lose Weight?An average person needs to take about 2.000 steps in the average mile to lose weight. For one mile – 100 calories can be burn. The pedometer will keep track of your steps, how many calories you burn and how many miles you walk daily. Also it is a big help if you don’t have to workout. You can simply add steps to your daily routine.1 Mile = 2.000 steps and 100 calories burned500 gram = 3.500 caloriesLoss 500 gm weight per week = 500 calories daily.You need to take 10.000 steps daily to lose 500 grams per week.Here are some ideas how to fit the walking in your busy day if 10,000 steps sound a lot (you don’t need to start from 10,000 steps. Start slowly – just you will lose less weight)Get off the bus and walk the rest of the way to work or to home.Park the car far away from your destination and walk the distance.You can walk to the station instead of taking bus or car.Don’t use lift, take the stairs insteadWalk the children to school.You can keep track or the number of kg you lost or how many calories you burned, depending what kind of pedometer you have. This data helps you stay informed regarding your advancement by giving you a reasonable picture of what you have physically accomplished amid your walk.Because of the critical elements recorded you will want to buy a decent quality pedometer  to guarantee each step is checked.How to Keep it InterestingKeep your routine interesting and switch thing around, because walking the same old track can be boring.Walk outside at different areas, parks, neighborhoods, or listen some music to enjoy, motivate and energize you to finish the daily walking.Don’t stop with your daily walk because of cold winter weather. Buy a treadmill and put it in front of a television or window. You can enjoy in nature with looking through windows during walking, or savor every minute of your favorite show in front of television.You can invite friend or a family moment to join you. Even if they walk with you once in a week, it is still good way to mix up your daily routine. You can be bored with same old routine, even if you are dedicate walker. Don’t let this happen to you.Switch up your routine and keep in interesting as much as you like.Walking StyleWe all know how to walk and have been doing so since we were a little kid. And throughout the years bad stance and habits may have made you to have less desirable walking standards.When you are walking for exercise you will focus your eyes about 100 feet toward, keep your chin up, squeeze your glutes and pull in your abdomen towards your spine. This walking style can help you to achieve the maximum from your workout.

Why a 30-Minute Walk Will Give You Independence at 70

Dr. Vishwas Virmani, Physiotherapist
Hippocrates has stated that walking is the best medicine. In addition, various studies have shown that walking not only keeps you disease-free for longer time but also increases your lifespan by 7 years. Even though walking is the simplest form of exercising and requires no fancy machines, it provides the best results. In other words, if you do not have some sort of debilitating condition, you can walk!    Having difficulty making time for an hour of workout at the gym? Here are some easy ways to walk more without reorganising your daily schedule.Take the stairs instead of an elevator.Walk to work or to the grocery store.Park further away instead of competing for parking.Go for a walk after lunch instead of spending those extra 5 minutes in the cafeteria.By exercising from your youth or even when you get old, you will not have to rely on others for your daily chores at that age. Here are some advantages of walking that will benefit you in your old age:Great for old ageWalking helps you stay mobile and independent and you are less likely to become disabled or have an episode of physical disability. Arthritis patients, who have a difficult time doing exercises, can walk. Walking is gentle if performed correctly and it improves balance in older patients with osteoarthritis.Boosts immunityA research suggests that a mere 30-minute walk can increase your natural killer T-cells and other immune markers. Furthermore, the more daily step count, the better your mucosal immunity gets.Prevents cancerA research by the Harvard University shows that walking for at least 1 to 3 hours a week reduces the mortality risk from cancer by about 19%, especially in uterine and breast cancer. Nonetheless, if you walk for 3 to 5 hours, the risk further decreases by almost 54%.Curbs cardiovascular diseaseWalking keeps your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels in check. Walking after meals helps regulate glucose levels for the patients with uncontrolled diabetes. Besides, brisk walking preserves elasticity in the arteries, thereby helping lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels.Battles obesityBrisk walking gets the heart pumping and muscles working, thereby decreasing your weight. While walking might not make you ripped, it will help your knee joints stay healthy for longer.Good for brain and reduces stressWalking helps with memory loss at an early age. A walk outdoors, especially at beach, woods or park, will freshen you up reducing any stress. It also increases your multi-tasking and creativity skills. Walking keeps you away from early memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease.Prevents fallsWalking from a young age improves balance. Even if you cannot walk properly, it improves your ability to land well even if you fall.Improves sleepAs you get older, you might experience an imbalance in your sleep cycle. Quality sleep is vital for good health. Walking improves sleep in a way that helps you fall asleep faster and deeply.In conclusion, walking not only provides the above mentioned benefits but also helps you live longer. Studies have shown that walking intensity is directly proportional to mortality. So, walk towards longer and healthier life!