Are you looking for a workout routine that's easy to do and won't cost you anything? If you are, then walking is the solution you're looking for. It'
Are you looking for a workout routine that’s easy to do and won’t cost you anything? If you are, then walking is the solution you’re looking for. It’s free, you won’t need any special know-how, and you can do it at your own pace anytime.
What’s great about walking is that it has so many health benefits, which is why a lot of people are so into it. For one, studies have shown that walking is indeed a great way to burn calories. Learn more about why you should start walking to burn fat.
Benefits of Walking
Check out the top health benefits you get when you walk regularly.
It’s an excellent way to burn calories
Whether you want to just maintain your current weight or lose some extra pounds, walking can help you accomplish your goal. Of course, the actual calories you will burn will depend on several factors such as your current weight and your speed, and the time you spend walking.
If your goal is to burn 120 calories or more, you should spend at least half an hour walking at a speed of 3.5mph. That’s equivalent to 17 minutes per mile. Up your speed just a little bit and you can burn as much as 200 calories per 30 minutes.
Walking is a great exercise for strengthening your heart
If you want to lower your risks of cardiovascular diseases and improve your heart health, you can simply start taking daily walks.
Various studies have shown that walking interventions can help reduce both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure and improve your aerobic fitness. It can also lessen the likelihood that you will develop coronary heart disease.
Research has also shown that people who walk briskly have lower risks of cardiovascular diseases, as compared to people who usually walk at a slow pace. If you’re planning to walk regularly as part of your exercise program, you should try brisk walking.
Walking can help improve your mood
If you think losing weight is the only benefit you get from taking regular walks, you actually gain much more than just a healthier body. Your mental health also improves when you walk regularly.
A 2016 study has scientifically shown that overweight people who walked for at least 10,000 steps a day actually experienced less anxiety and depression.
Compared to their scores before they started walking regularly, those who participated in the study also had better scores in terms of confusion, fatigue, anger, and distress after the 12-week walking intervention program.
Walking can prevent lean muscle loss
Did you know that when you lose weight, you also tend to lose lean muscle mass and not just fat? When you lose weight drastically because of your diet, you can end up having loose skin and sagging muscles.
That’s because of the lean muscle mass that you lost. To prevent that from happening, your weight loss diet should be accompanied by exercise. Aside from helping you preserve your lean muscle mass when you lose weight, walking can also lessen muscle loss due to aging. Thus, it’s a great way to preserve your muscle function and strength.
Walking is one of the best exercises for reducing your waist circumference
Walking is the best low-intensity workout you can try if you’re looking to trim your waistline. A waistline of 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women is already considered a sign of abdominal obesity.
Abdominal obesity is actually a huge health risk. An excessive amount of belly fat can significantly increase your risks of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
Studies on walking interventions for obese people consistently show that walking can help reduce visceral fat and waist circumference. If your goal is to lose at least an inch off your waistline, you can try walking for 50-70 minutes at least three times a week.
- If you have to walk, whether on your way to work or just to get some fresh air, try walking at a brisk pace. Brisk walking for 2.5 hours or 150 minutes per week can greatly improve your physical and mental health while reducing your risks of disease.
- Warm up at a comfortable pace then increase your speed until you’re walking briskly. Just like with any other physical activities, warming up and cooling down should also be a part of your walking exercise.
- Try using a fitness tracker that’s specifically designed for walking workouts. You actually have several options, from step-tracking apps to wearables like wristwatch pedometers. You can also use it to increase your motivation to walk more.
- Take evening walks with a friend. Studies indicate that people who walk with other people tend to enjoy the activity more. You can think of it not just as an exercise but also a great way to spend time with friends and family.
- Make new friends by joining a walking group. While some people enjoy walking alone, there are also benefits to be gained when you join a walking group. For one, it’s an excellent way to meet people and make new friends. It can also turn walking into a fun activity instead of a boring task that you have to force yourself to do.
- Go on foot when doing errands. If your favorite store is just nearby, try going there on foot instead of taking your car. You not only save on gas and parking fees, but you also get to incorporate walking as part of your regular activities.
- Try changing your route from time to time. Walking the same route regularly can make you feel as if you’re in your comfort zone. Changing routes every now and then can make walking more interesting and challenging for you.
- Invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Since you’ll be spending quite a significant amount of time on your feet, it’s always a good idea to wear a pair of comfortable athletic shoes. Go for shoes that are flexible, provide sufficient cushion for your feet to help reduce your risks of injury.