Some people think that walking is a waste of time. However, experts claim that by not including walking in our exercise routine we are missing out on a highly effective form of physical activity, as well as a mental boost.

Dr. Matt Tanneberg, CSCS, a sports Chiropractor and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Phoenix, Arizona, says that walking can be as good of a workout as running, if not better. He explains that people who do the same workout routine everyday, without mixing it up, eventually stop seeing results. To get the maximum benefit for your health, it is important to constantly switch up your exercise routine.

Yes, people tend to label running as a “better” workout because it is more physically demanding.

While it would be great to say that walking can be just as effective of a workout as running, this is not the case. It wouldn’t be fair to compare the two against each other, as running is a more intense workout due to the larger muscle recruitment, greater forces exerted, and faster motion capability.

Some people may find walking to be a better exercise choice than other options.

Even though Ford is a track athlete and therefore may be inclined to think that walking is not as good as running, she says that walkiing is actually a really good form of exercise that can help people achieve their fitness and weight-loss goals. She suggests that people who may have problems with their knees, ankles, or back, as well as people who are overweight or obese, should walk instead of run. This is because walking is a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.

The effectiveness of adding walking to your fitness routine is backed up by plenty of scientific research.

The Physical Benefits of Walking

According to Ann Green, there are many reasons to walk for exercise. Some of these reasons include the fact that walking can improve fitness and cardiac health, alleviate depression and fatigue, improve mood, create less stress on joints and reduce pain, prevent weight gain, reduce the risk for cancer and chronic disease, improve endurance, circulation, and posture.

The most recent National Runners’ Health Study and the National Walkers’ Health Study showed that running and walking both help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

Moderate walking can be just as effective as running when it comes to markers of health, as long as the same amount of energy is expended. This is good news for those of us who hate running.

Previous research has suggested that going for a walk every day can lower your risk of stroke, shorten the amount of time you spend in hospital each year, and even improve your chance of survival by up to 39 percent if you don’t do any other form of exercise.

The study found that people who stuck to a walking program saw significant improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, weight, cholesterol, depression scores, and quality of life.

The Mental Benefits of Walking

There are both physical and mental benefits to adding a walk to your daily routine. The mental benefits may be more immediate than the physical ones.

adjective: having many possible solutions or interpretations; not limited to one answer or result One Stanford University study found that walking increased creative output by an average of 60 percent. Researchers labeled this type of creativity “divergent thinking,” which they define as a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. According to the study, “walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

Since science shows that being able to let your mind wander promoting a state that is good for innovative ideas, it makes sense that people would want to do this.

The mental benefits of creativity can also be seen in increased moods. Walking, specifically, has been found to be a great mood booster. One study found that just 12 minutes of walking increased joviality, vigor, attentiveness, and self-confidence, as opposed to sitting during that time. Walking in nature has also been found to reduce thoughts about negative experiences, which in turn, raised the risk of depression.

Walking has many benefits, one of which is preventing the deterioration of brain tissue as we age. Also, psychologists have found that a 10-minute walk can be just as good as a 45-minute workout when it comes to relieving anxiety and boosting mood.

You may be right. Are you thinking that your neighbor who walks around the block every morning may be onto something? You may be correct.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Walking Workout

If you want to see results, you can’t just set the treadmill at 3.5 and zone out for an hour.

The text is saying that the key to a good walking workout is using the buttons on the treadmill, which most people don’t do.

The Secret to Walking Your Way to a Lean Body

There are many myths people believe when it comes to exercise, such as the idea that you have to be sweating a lot for your workout to be effective. However, this is not the case, as sweat is not necessarily an indication of how hard you’re working out.

There is a general misconception about walking which is that it is not an effective form of exercise and is only good for getting from one place to another. However, this is not the case as walking can actually help improve your energy levels, sleep, reduce your risk of disease and help you live longer. In addition, walking can also help you slim down and get the body you have always wanted.

“Walking is one of the most underrated exercises for weight loss,” trainer and health coach Ryan Hodgson recently explained to Express. “Too often in the mainstream media we are seeing overweight people being pushed toward HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, circuits, couch to 5k, and much more…. Many of these forms of exercise are much more likely to promote injury. If we could do more to promote walking for weight loss, it would be a huge step in the right direction.”

Hodgson observes that walking has almost no barriers to entry–you can do it anywhere, it doesn’t require special equipment or training, and almost anyone can do it. He points out that walking can help you burn more calories, making it easier to get into a calorie deficit. Walking is also a great way for busy parents to stay active with their kids.

Maximize Your Walks

You Need to Step on the Gas

The best way to get more out of your walks, especially if you’re looking to slim down, is to walk faster. This will increase your heart rate and help your body burn stored fat, as Steve Stonehouse, the director of education at STRIDE, explained to Parade.

If you want to take walks that are beneficial to your health, you need to walk at a moderate pace where you are slightly out of breath. You should be able to talk, but not sing. If you can sing, you need to walk faster.

Or Walk on an Incline

“You can encourage your body to use fat as a store of energy by walking at an incline, getting your heart and lungs going and Time Under Tension (TUT) will also be much higher, encouraging fat burning.” To burn more fat while walking, either walk uphill or use the incline function on a treadmill. TUT (Time Under Tension) will be much higher, which encourages fat burning.

“While the number of calories burned by each person is based on individual factors, walking or running at an incline of two percent or more burns more calories than walking or running outdoors on a level surface—the body uses a greater percentage of fat for fuel,” says the Iowa Heart Center. “Walking at 3mph on a super-incline trainer… burns 70 percent more fat than running with no incline.”

If you want to know more about the benefits of adding an incline to your walks, check out the article “Why This Amazing Walking Workout Is Going Viral.”

Brisk Walking Is a Wonder Drug for Your Body

According to leading health experts at the Mayo Clinic, “regular brisk walking” can provide many benefits for your overall health, including strengthening your muscles and bones. The Australian government’s health body observes that the health benefits of brisk walking can include “improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint, and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes.”

A recent study found that going for a half-hour walk improves blood flow to the brain and cognitive performance in older adults with cognitive impairments. The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, also found that walking helps to boost memory function.

The study found that people who walked at a brisk pace had a 20% lower risk of death from any cause.

Here’s a Great Brisk Walking Workout to Try

Ash Wilking, a consultant for Nike and instructor at Rumble, as well as the creator of the app Ash Fit On Demand, has given ETNT Mind+Body a good walking workout to try at home. The key to burning more fat, according to Wilking, is to walk faster for a longer period of time, so this workout is an hour long.

Warm up by walking for 12 minutes total. For one minute, walk at a faster than normal pace, then do 30 seconds of heel kicks or high knees before going back to the faster pace for one minute. Repeat this 8 times.

The workout includes walking for 3 minutes at a fast pace, followed by 2 minutes of walking at an easy pace. This is repeated 8 times.

Walk for 8 minutes at a slow pace to help your body cool down and recover.

If you want to burn even more calories, do it on an incline on your treadmill. This will help you burn more calories and improve your overall health.

 

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Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

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