Badagas of the Blue Mountain in the Nilgiris [Southern India], in earlier days, have given great importance to health. This was amply reflected in their life style. Walking was part of life. Be it going to the fields, hola or thotta, or going to the forests for gathering firewood or long trekking to gather honey and fruits [hannu koovadhu]. Since, festivals, weddings or funerals were essentially social gatherings, relatives would walk long distances to reach the destination usually a hatti/villages located far away.
Known of boys coming all the way from Edapalli & Eethorai to study in Hubbathalai School, located a few kilometres away, in the 1960s. In those days, one had to walk a considerable distance to catch a bus to go to Ooty or Coonoor. Unfortunately, laziness came along with introduction of mini buses connecting the hattis with towns in the Naakku Betta Nilgiris.. Even to go to a shop located a few hundred yards away, mini bus was awaited. Thus, a major source of exercise/good health viz walking became a casualty.
Anyway, here are the benefits of walking. Walking for health and happiness.
- The human body is made to walk.
- Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.
- Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent.
- Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple and healthier when we walk.
- Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.
- Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.
- Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.
- The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.
- We don’t have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on ourÂ health.
- Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer. Men who walk regularly have a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.
- For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.
- Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.
- In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphins when we walk. Endorphins help us feel good.
- Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones.
- Walking improves the circulatory system.
- Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.
- Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.
- And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 pounds.
- When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.
- Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.
- People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.
- People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.
- Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.
- Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers.
- Walking is the right thing to do.Â The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.
- We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.
- Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psychosocial health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.