What Are the Health Benefits of Walking an Hour a Day on the Treadmill?

Walking on a treadmill is good for your health.
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Walking is one of those things people often take for granted. A common misconception is that a physically active lifestyle requires uncanny or extreme dedication and sacrifices. Nevertheless, simple things like brisk walking on a treadmill can greatly contribute to your overall physical well-being. Walking may actually enable you to lose weight, strengthen your immune system, relieve stress and add some years to your life.

Weight Loss

People often take extreme measures to lose weight. But something as simple as walking regularly on a treadmill actually helps you lose weight. An article from the Mayo Clinic suggests that a 160-pound individual burns 314 calories walking for one hour at a 3.5-mph pace. Doing this everyday means you will lose a pound of fat in less than two weeks. To expedite this process, consider cultivating a healthy diet that is deprived of processed, fatty and sugary foods. Rather, consume more fiber-rich and lean-protein meals. Such foods are more filling and facilitate weight loss.

Stronger Immune System

Pills and vaccines are not the only antidote for disease and sickness. Walking regularly may help strengthen your immune system and keep loathsome infections at bay. Even short bouts of brisk walking benefit your immune system. A 2005 study published by "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" showed that walking for only 30 minutes caused short-term improvements to your immune system. In contrast, extremely intense and long-distance exercises have been shown to temporarily suppress your immune system. Thus, an hour of brisk walking is an ideal way to reinforce your immune system.

Stress Relief

If you are feeling stressed out and exhausted, going for a walk on the treadmill may make you feel better. Physical exercise relieves stress by releasing endorphins — chemicals that induce a feeling of euphoria or happiness. Physical exercise seems to help even those who are suffering from chronic stress or depression. A 2007 study published by the "Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health" suggests that exercise improves the symptoms of those who suffer from major depressive disorder. Therefore, walking regularly on a treadmill may contribute to a short-term and long-term peaceful state of mind.

Improved Life Expectancy

Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cerebral vascular diseases — together, these nefarious killers are responsible for more than half the annual deaths in the United States. Interestingly, a physically active lifestyle has been shown to reduce the risk of those chronic diseases. A 2012 study published by PLOS Medicine, a popular medical journal, showed that an active lifestyle may add as much as four and a half years to your life. What is more, this doesn’t require much. Modest lifestyle changes such as walking regularly on a treadmill are sufficient to increase your chances of living longer.

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