Saturday, 21 November 2015

What happens when we start walking?

The human body was never designed for a sedentry lifestyle, it was created to hunt saber tooth tiger and walk 40 miles a day.

We certainly do not belong to that era now yet moving our bodies throughout the day is the main aim of any exercise program and walking is the easiest form of exercise.

Ever wondered what happens to your body when you start walking?

Here's a minute-by-minute rundown of the amazing chain reaction walking and exercise has upon your body, it's truly amazing!

Minutes 1 to 5

Your first few steps trigger the release of energy-producing chemicals in your cells to fuel your walk. Your heart rate revs-up 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. As you get moving, your body burns 5 calories per minute, compared with only 1 per minute at rest. Your body needs more fuel and starts pulling from its carbohydrates and fat stores.

Minutes 6 to 10

Heartbeat increases from 100 to about 140 bpm, and you're burning up to 6 calories a minute as you pick up the pace. A slight rise in blood pressure is countered by the release of chemicals that expand blood vessels, bringing more blood and oxygen to working muscles.

Minutes 11 to 20

Your body temperature keeps rising, and you start to perspire as blood vessels near the skin expand to release heat. As your walk becomes brisker, you'll be burning up to 7 calories a minute and breathing harder. Hormones such as epinephrine and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles.

Minutes 21 to 45

Feeling invigorated, you start to relax as your body releases tension, thanks in part to a dose of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins in your brain. 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 carbohydrates stores are reduced. As you cool down, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows. You'll be burning fewer calories but more than you were before you started. Your calorie burn will remain elevated for up to 1 hour.

Whats intresting is what happens in our brain at the same time...
If we start walking, our brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As our heart pressure increases, the brain thinks we are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect self and brain from stress, we release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to our memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, is released in our brain. Our endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria. Thus even a small walk helps us feel at ease, clear out things and eventually make us feel happy.

All this happens without a single conscious thought from us. Amazing!!!

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