There is a ton of walking needed after bariatric surgery which can feel redundant and excessive. But it’s one of the most important parts of recovery after surgeries like gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.
Not to mention it helps instill healthy habits to maintain a long life.
Did you know that walking even just for 20 to 25 minutes a day can add seven years to your life? Researchers followed 69 people within the age range of 30 to 60 years old who were at different levels of activity in their daily lives. Those who included regular exercises such as moderate exercise, high interval training (HIIT) and strength training did in fact experience anti-aging benefits.
In fact, including a minimum of 20 minutes of walking every day should not be looked at as exercise so much a part of your day-to-day life.
Walking Towards a Better Health
Some advantages of going for daily walks of 20 minutes or more include:
- The extended life expectancy of about 3 to 7 years no matter where you start in life
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
Sitting for more than 8 hours a day increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 90%, it is recommended that you get up and walk around throughout the day if you sit at work.
- Even getting up and walking around for two minutes every hour can increase your lifespan by 33%
- Improved sleep
- Supported joint health
- Improved circulation
- Reduced chances of disability at age 65 and over
- Increases ability to get sun exposure which has additional health benefits
It also can;
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Improved blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Improved blood lipid profile
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Enhanced mental well-being
- Reduced risk of obesity and better weight maintenance
- Reduced risk of non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes
- Reduced risk of breast and colon cancer
On average, a person may walk about 3 to 4 thousand steps a day. However, it is better to aim for around 10,000 steps per day.
Dropped Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, and Many Other Health Issues
One study has also shown that when you walk for two miles or more a day, you can, in fact, cut your chances of hospitalization from a severe episode of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about 50%.
And another study found that daily walking, no matter what the pace, reduces the risk of stroke for men over the age of 60n years by as much as 33%.
Plan a Routine
- Opt for shoes that provide adequate arch support, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles to cushion your feet and absorb impact.
- Choose comfortable, loose-fitting clothing suitable for various weather conditions.
- Avoid paths with cracked sidewalks, potholes, low-hanging branches, or uneven terrain, particularly if walking outdoors.
- If weather conditions don’t permit outdoor walking, explore the option of walking in a shopping mall that provides designated times for walkers.
- Warm up your muscles by walking slowly for five to 10 minutes. This helps prepare your body for exercise.
- At the conclusion of your walk, gradually decrease your pace and walk slowly for another five to 10 minutes. This aids in cooling down your muscles.
- After cooling down, engage in gentle stretching exercises to promote muscle flexibility. You can opt to stretch before your walk but remember to warm up properly beforehand.
Make Walking Fun
While walking every day does have benefits, some find it tough to keep up with it regularly due to it feeling redundant. So here are some good ways to help make walking more enjoyable when including it in your daily life.
- Walk with friends or a group
- Find various routes, parks, and public places to walk in for a change of atmosphere
- Listen to music, an educational podcast, or an audiobook while you walk
- Talk to a friend, relative, or significant other on the phone
- Make important calls that you’ve set aside
- Into photography? Take a camera or even just use your phone and find unique things and moments to snap pictures of during your walks
- Change up your pace by occasionally going for a run or jog now and then if you feel an extra burst of energy
- Take a cup of your favorite coffee or tea to sip on
- Close to a coffee shop, convenience store, gym, or friend’s house? Try walking instead of driving to such places when convenient
- Take your dog or a ride or offer to take a friend’s dog on walks if you don’t have one of your own
- Put a treadmill in your living room and walk while you watch TV
By multitasking and getting other things done with time, walking becomes less of a chore and more just a healthy alternative to sitting during activities.
Count Your Steps!
A pedometer is a device that tracks and records the number of steps you take during a given period. Apps such as the Health app for iPhone also track steps. By monitoring your daily movement and comparing it to previous days or recommended guidelines, you can gain insight into your activity levels and potentially find the motivation to increase your physical activity.
To attain health benefits, it is generally recommended to accumulate 10,000 steps or more per day.