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  • Sharon Parsons

Walking To Improve Hormonal Health 

It may not sound ground-breaking, but walking is the perfect form of exercise. Both women and men can suffer from hormonal imbalances, and daily walking can help everyone improve their health.

People discount the health benefits of walking because they do not feel like they have sweat enough to burn fat. They believe that high-intensity exercises are the only way to be healthy. In reality, walking is just as effective as high-intensity exercise, and for most people, it is more accessible and enjoyable.

Fat metabolization

Fat in the body will metabolize more efficiently when you are breathing evenly and taking in adequate amounts of oxygen. Walking is a great option because you have full control of your pace. You can better regulate your breathing and optimize your fat metabolization.

It is important to make sure your body is receiving enough oxygen at night too! If you are waking up tired, you may consider being assessed for sleep apnea (a condition where you stop breathing in your sleep). Lack of oxygen overnight can impair your ability to metabolize fat.

Hormonal factors

Regular daily movement, such as walking, is vital for keeping your circulatory system happy. Oxygenated blood flows through your circulatory system and nourishes all your vital organs. When your organs are nourished, they can easily communicate with each other and signal hormones to act.

Your appetite and fullness are regulated by the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Consistent daily movement can improve communication between these hormones and balance appetite.

The cortisol hormone is your stress hormone. Unmanaged cortisol levels can be a silent symptom, and many people may not be aware that their stress is high. Walking, especially outdoors, has been shown to significantly reduce stress and help with long-term stress management.

While outside you are exposed to wildlife, fresh air, and sunshine. Daily sunlight exposure will activate the calcitriol hormone (better known as Vitamin D). Vitamin D is critical for brain health, mood, immune function, and bone integrity.

Finding time

Ten thousand daily steps are the minimum recommended steps per day for Canadians. It will take most people 60 minutes to reach this target. Break up your walks into scheduled chunks to hit that goal. Pick a routine that works for you that is sustainable.

If you are concerned about managing your blood sugars, include a walk 30 minutes after eating. Research has shown that movement after eating burns the sugars in your bloodstream and decreases the amount of free-floating insulin.

In Summary

You can improve your hormonal health and fat metabolization through daily walking. Our society tends to swing between two extremes: people are sedentary for several hours a day, and then they exercise once or twice a week for an hour or more.

Break up the hours you spend sedentary by getting creative with ways you can move. Park your car further away from the grocery store next time you go out! When you are ready, add light resistance training that targets muscle groups. Combining both of these types of exercises will provide you with long-lasting health.

Every step counts!

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