Your Body’s reactions to Walking

your body's reaction to walking

All throughout this week on our Facebook and Twitter accounts (click the links and follow, please!) you will find many Walking Facts and how it can positively affect your life and health.

Here we have your body’s account of what is happening within – from taking that first step, to getting well into your stride. This analysis has been researched by US-based exercise physiologist Martica Heaner, PhD – so comes with a medical seal of authenticity!

So, for a minute-by-minute run-down of what your body does when you’re working on your walking, read on:

Minutes 1 to 5  Your first few steps trigger your cells to release energy-producing chemicals that fuel your walking. Your heart rate revs from about 70 to 100 beats per minute (bpm), boosting blood flow and warming muscles.

Any stiffness subsides as joints release lubricating fluid to help you move more easily. Once you get moving, your body burns about 20 kJ (5 cal) per minute (its resting rate is just 4 kJ per minute). Your body needs more fuel and starts to draw on its carbohydrate and fat stores.

Minutes 6 to 10 Your heartbeat increases from 100 to approximately 140 bpm. As you pick up the pace, you burn up to 25 kJ (6 cal) per minute. The body then releases chemicals that expand blood vessels to counter the slight rise in blood pressure; this release brings more blood and oxygen to working muscles.

Minutes 11 to 20 Your body temperature keeps rising, and as blood vessels near the skin expand to release heat, you start to sweat. As your walk becomes brisker, you burn up to 30 kJ (7 cal) a minute and start to breathe harder. Hormones such as adrenalin and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles.

Minutes 21 to 45 Feeling invigorated, you start to relax as your body releases tension. This is partly thanks to a dose of feel-good brain chemicals such as endorphins. As more fat is burned, insulin (which helps store fat) drops—excellent news for anyone battling excess weight or diabetes.

Minutes 46 to 60 Your muscles may feel fatigued as your body reduces its carb stores. As you cool down, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows. You’re burning fewer kilojoules, but more than you were before you began. And your kilojoule burn remains elevated for up to 1 hour.

And all that in just 60 minutes – just think of the benefits of spreading that over a week or two in the idyllic island setting of Mallorca. Don’t delay, head over to our website now to start planning that well deserved break – your body will thank you!

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