28. Walking can raise your levels of good cholesterol
When people hear the word cholesterol, they immediately think of heart attacks and strokes. Cholesterol can contribute to such potentially fatal events. However, there are two types of cholesterol. Commonly known as good and bad cholesterol, it is the presence of bad cholesterol that can cause heart attacks and strokes. The medical term for bad cholesterol is LDL (low-density lipoprotein).
It accumulates as fatty deposits in the veins and arteries and restricts or blocks the flow of blood to and from the heart. The correct term for good cholesterol is HDL (high-density lipoprotein). HDL travels through the body removing LDL from the bloodstream. The HDL absorbs the LDL and takes it to the liver where it gets destroyed. Physical activity such as walking increases the flow of HDL around the body. The HDL is better able to find and absorb the LDL and get it to the liver.
29. Walking can reduce incidences of acid reflux
Acid reflux is very painful. The condition occurs when acid from the stomach travels up into the esophagus. The esophagus is not lined like the stomach to make it tolerant of the acid. Consequently, the acid burns the esophagus which is extremely uncomfortable. It’s normal to experience the odd instance of acid reflux, especially after you’ve overindulged at the dinner table. Taking a walk after overeating may settle the stomach and avoid the reflux episode.
Persistent acid reflux could be due to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder or GERD. One of the major causes of GERD is excess body weight. There is pressure on the stomach caused by being overweight. This forces the stomach acid up and into the esophagus. Losing that excess body weight alleviates the stress on the stomach and stops forcing the stomach acid upward. Walking is proven to result in weight loss.
30. Walking may help to reduce the symptoms of PMS and menopause
PMS is a pre-menstrual syndrome. Menopause occurs when a woman reaches the end of her fertility cycle, and her reproductive system begins to shut down. Fluctuating hormone levels characterize both these conditions. The primary hormone that may be elevated or reduced is estrogen. Estrogen is the female hormone needed to keep the reproductive system stable. A fluctuation in estrogen before menstruation may lead to back pain, irritability, and headaches. For women experiencing menopause, hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness may occur.
For both conditions, low-impact mild to moderate activity is advocated to relieve some of the symptoms. Improved circulation can help to reduce pain associated with cramping. The mental benefits of walking may help with the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies PMS and menopause. Keeping your weight down can also reduce the severity of symptoms.