Walk Your Way to Stroke Prevention
A stroke is one of the more serious medical conditions that one can face. The effects of a stroke can and do vary dramatically. But, with that stated, the odds of a stroke leading to serious physical and even mental impairment are high enough that any step that you can take to prevent this issue is a step you should take! After all, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to estimates, about 80% of strokes are from blockages in the carotid arteries, which is typically preventable.
The cornerstones for avoiding a stroke are three fold. The first step is to reduce your stress levels. Too much prolonged stress can have a very negative impact on your health and leave your body vulnerable to a heart attack or stroke. Secondly, you should embrace a healthy diet that is built around fresh foods such as fruits, vegetables, quality proteins and healthy fats and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Finally, you should be looking to get more exercise. One particularly good way to reduce your risk of having a stroke is to walk your way to health. In this article, we will examine why walking is such a smart way to improve and boost your overall health.
Walking is Low Impact
If you are injured you can’t work out, and that means you can’t move towards your health and fitness goals. Running has its benefits, but there are serious negatives as well. Running is high impact and can lead to a good deal of wear and tear on your body. It is important to note that most people don’t run on soft surfaces or simply don’t have access to soft running surfaces, such as grass. The end result is a great deal of impact on joints, ligaments and, in fact, the entire skeletal system. Walking by contrast is very low impact. When done at a brisk pace, it is possible to get an excellent cardiovascular workout.
Look for Opportunities to Walk More
One of the keys to using walking as a way to reduce your chances of having a stroke is to find new ways to walk more often. An easy place to begin is by parking your car farther away from your work, home or shopping locations. Even if you have a busy schedule, this simple step can help you walk a great deal more throughout the course of a year.
Stress Reduction-The Overlooked Benefit of Walking
Increasingly, many of us are spending the bulk of our hours indoors and stuck in front of the glare of computer screens. Taking a break to go out for a walk allows you to get fresh air, as indoor air is typically up to 8 times more polluted than outdoor air, and get some much needed sunshine and vitamin D. Taking a walk will help you reduce stress and maybe even help make you a little smarter as well. Scientific studies have shown that walking builds new neurological pathways in the brain. The more you walk, the more of these pathways you build. So, in a sense, walking can help make you smarter.
Blood Flow to the Brain
Walking, like any exercise, can help keep your heart healthy and keep blood flowing to your brain. This, in turn, can help boost your overall health and brain health. There are many good reasons to put walking at the top of your “must do” list!