Ever wonder what happens to the body during a 15, 30, or 45-minute walk? What about after a 60-minute walk? How much time does it take the body to start reacting to the walk? What chemicals are released while walking? What hormones are triggered for weight loss during a walking-for-fitness session? When does the body start sweating?
Experts say the body experiences a number of changes when walkers take a one-hour walk. The following was taken directly from the walking experts at www.adventure.com.au:
The first few steps trigger the release of energy-producing chemicals to help you keep walking. Your heart rate goes from approximately 70 beats per minute (bpm) to 100 bpm, which helps to warm your muscles. Stiffness reduces as your joints release lubricating fluid to help you move. Your body now starts burning 5 calories per minute, instead of the 1 per minute you were burning just sitting around. As your body needs more fuel it starts drawing on carbohydrate and fat stores.
Your heartbeat increases to about 140 bpm, and now you’re getting through 6 calories a minute as you start to go a little faster. There is a slight rise in your blood pressure which is countered by the release of chemicals that expand the blood vessels, so the muscles get more oxygen and blood.
By now you’re starting to feel pretty warm and sweaty as blood vessels near the surface of your skin expand to release all that heat you’ve created. You will start breathing harder and might even get up to 7 calories a minute. Hormones such as epinephrine and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles.
You feel invigorated, and start to relax as you get rid of tension, thanks partly to the endorphins released in your brain. Because you are now burning fat, insulin drops - which is really exciting for diabetics or people trying to lose weight.
Your muscles are pretty tired as carbohydrate stores are reduced. While you cool down, your heart rate and breathing slow. The calories you burn start to reduce but remain elevated for about an hour after you stop exercising.
So, whether you walk 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes a day, you will benefit from this way of life. Your brain will thank you, your muscles will thank you, and most of all, you will thank yourself for the way, once again, you have contributed to the overall good health for the only body you will ever have in this life. To your good health!
Always Remember: Consult your physician before starting any exercise and/or diet regimen.