Walking is a natural activity. We do it all the time and unless there's a disability in the way, we should do it much more and as often as we can. The reason is very simple. Our hearts just love dynamic walking. Hence the title of this article.
Walking is a pattern of movement common to all legged animals. It's natural purpose is movement, from one place to another. Heart walking has an added purpose to this: By engaging in a natural gait executed just a bit dynamically faster than usual, we make sure our hearts get their most needed workout, finally.
Heart walking is the most natural environmentally friendly activity we can do. Its blood pressure lowering effects are very well documented among many other benefits directly related to heart health. Walking aids in the reduction of tension, anxiety, chronic fatigue and stress, and gives better sleep, lower resting heart rate, weight and appetite normalization and more energy.
Brisk walking improves the strength and pumping efficiency of the heart, enabling more blood to be pumped with each stroke. This improves the ability to more rapidly transport life sustaining oxygen from the lungs to the heart and to all parts of the body, including the brain.
As you get fitter, your resting heart rate should decrease. This is due to the heart getting more efficient at pumping blood around the body, so at rest more blood can be pumped around with each beat, therefore less beats per minute are needed.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, typically expressed as beats per minute (bpm). Resting heart rate (HRrest) is a person's heart rate when they are at rest, that is lying down but awake, and not having recently exerted themselves. The typical resting heart rate in adults is 60-90 bpm, with rates below 60 bpm referred to as bradycardia, and rates above 100 bpm referred to as tachycardia.
A number of investigations indicate that faster resting heart rate has emerged as a new risk factor for mortality in homeothermic mammals, particularly cardiovascular mortality in human beings. Faster heart rate may accompany increased production of inflammation molecules and increased production of reactive oxygen species in cardiovascular system, in addition to increased mechanical stress to the heart. There is a correlation between increased resting rate and cardiovascular risk. This is not seen to be "using an allotment of heart beats" but rather an increased risk to the system from the increased rate.
An Australian-led international study of patients with cardiovascular disease has shown that heart beat rate is a key indicator for the risk of heart attack. The study, published in The Lancet (September 2008) studied 11,000 people, across 33 countries, who were being treated for heart problems. Those patients whose heart rate was above 70 beats per minute had significantly higher incidence of heart attacks, hospital admissions and the need for surgery. University of Sydney professor of cardiology Ben Freedman from Sydney's Concord hospital, said "If you have a high heart rate there was an increase in heart attack, there was about a 46 percent increase in hospitalizations for non-fatal or fatal heart attack."
- There are countless physical activities out there, but walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It's the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.
- Engaging in walking for heart health is very easy to do. A pair of shoes is all the equipment you really need. Any shoes or trainers that are comfortable, provide adequate support and don't cause blisters will do. Start gradually. You don’t have to do 30 minutes in one go. For example, you could do three 10-minute walks in a day. The key to walking to improve your heart health is to walk regularly and briskly. Brisk walking is to walk faster than your usual pace.
- The key to walking to improve your health is to walk regularly and briskly. Brisk walking is to walk faster than your usual pace. From walking to the shops or part of your journey to work, to walking the dog and organized group walks, every step counts. The easiest way to walk more is to make walking a habit. Think of ways to include walking into your daily routine.
- Cardiovascular training
- Heart rate, lifespan, and mortality risk; The University of Texas Medical School.
- Heartbeat an indicator of disease risk; Danny Rose.
- Heart Rate and Exercise; Topend Sports.
- The Benefits of Walking; American Heart Association
- Walking for health; The UK National Health Service.
Useful Web Links
- Nutrition (8)
- Fitness (5)
- Health (5)
- Natural (4)