We have often heard about the numerous health benefits associated with walking. Walking for just half an hour each day can help improve the strength of your bones, increase muscle power, increase your metabolism and also help you lose excess body fat.
It is also beneficial for people who are trying to decrease the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart problems as well as cancer in some cases. The best thing about this exercise is that it is totally free, and you don’t need any kind of special equipment or training to start walking.
It is not necessary that every other exercise you do needs to be vigorous. It was found in 2007, that only 75 minutes of activity or exercise over seven days is enough for women to improve their health and wellness altogether.
Walking is a great activity if you are trying to get fit. First of all, it is low impact, and secondly it can be done at any time of the day and whenever you feel like it. You don’t need to stress about the body requirements and the other precaution that you often take before you start a vigorous exercise regimen. Most importantly, this activity can be performed by people of all ages and sizes. It is a great and healthy choice for elderly or overweight people as well.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Walking?
Walking is a form of weight bearing exercise because you are carrying your own body weight. Below mentioned are a few advantages of walking:
- Decrease in excess body fat
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- Improved muscle endurance and strength
- Improvement in illnesses such as high cholesterol, diabetes high blood pressure, chronic pain and muscle stiffness.
- Improved muscle strength
- Improved body balance and heart and lung fitness
Is It Possible To Lose Weight If Your Only Exercise Is Walking?
It is possible to lose weight through walking, but the effectiveness of this method depends on the intensity and the duration of the exercise. Your diet matters a lot as well. If you determined to lose weight, then you need to increase your physical activity and couple that a with reduced calorie intake. Through this method you will be able to lose weight quite effectively.
Walking is such a good exercise for controlling your weight due to the reason that it aids in burning calories. Walking for merely half an hour a day can help you burn around a hundred and fifty calories per day. However, if you walk more and at an increased pace, then you can burn more calories than this.
One thing that is quite significant is balance. It is possible to experience burnout, soreness and injury if you are not balancing your exercise. When you are new to the exercise, it is best that instead of walking for prolonged hours, you go for short and light walks. It takes time to build up your stamina. Once you feel you can do more you can switch to longer walks with increased intensity.
After you have lost weight, it is also important to maintain it through exercise, or else there are chances that you will gain again. It has been proved through research that people who do regular activity or exercise are the ones who are able to maintain their weight loss in the long run.
The Right And Suitable Intensity For Walking
For majority of people, there is no significant difference in the amount of energy used for running or walking a kilometer. The only difference is that it takes more time to walk. Think about covering a specific distance every day and determine the amount of time it takes you to cover that distance. Once your stamina builds up, you will find it much easier to use more energy and walk a longer distance.
As compared to walking slowly, walking quicker helps burn more kilo joules per hour. However, it does not imply that you need to walk more than your body allows you to. It is not healthy to walk so much that you get out of breath. A healthy way of walking is covering a distance that is suitable for your energy level as well as your heart rate.
It is possible for our bodies to adapt to physical exercise. With time you can always increase the intensity of exercise you are performing. If you are trying to improve your walking intensity, then you can do this through the following techniques:
- Walking for a little longer distance than the previous day
- Walking with some kind of weight in your hands
- Gradually increasing the speed at which you walk
- Walking up a hill
How To Intensify Your Walking Activity?
If you want to intensify your walking activity, then you can do so by walking up and down a flight of stairs. If you are walking up a hill or on stairs, you can burn up to two hundred calories in the same amount of time.
Let’s think about it this way, it is possible to burn a hundred calories if you are walking a mile. Likewise, you will be burning four hundred to seven hundred calories if you are walking four to seven miles. However, if you are walking up a hill or on stairs then you can imagine the increased intensity you will be exercising at.
Is It Possible To Get In Shape By Walking?
If you are not satisfied with the shape that your body is in, then you will be happy to know that it is possible to get in shape through walking daily. Walking has also been regarded as cardio by some experts since it is an activity that increase your heart rate above its normal resting rate. Below mentioned are a few ways you can burn calories through walking and stay in shape as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, its best that you get at least get two and a half hours of walk every week. At first you may think that this is too much, but of when you break it down to every day’s portion, it is quite manageable. For example, you can walk for twenty minutes each day to achieve the complete two and a half hour worth of walk over the week. You can also take a break day in between if you feel like it and walk for twenty five minutes each day.
Doing As Much As You Can
In order to get fit faster, you will be required to increase your walking exercise time. According to the CDC, it has been suggested to walk for at least three hundred minutes each week if you are willing to increase the duration and strength of your exercise. In order to walk for three hundred minutes a week, you will be required to walk for forty-two minutes each day. Also, if you would like to take a break in the week then you can walk for fifty minutes, six days a week.
Keep Your Weight In Mind
If you are someone whose main concern is maintain a sound weight then the best duration of walking exercise for you is one and a half to two and a half hours over the week, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Also, this is an ideal duration if you are trying to lose weight. However, if you are very overweight and are trying to burn fat fast and effectively then you should opt for the two and a half hours walk strategy. If your body allows you to walk for even more time, then that is very good.
What Is A Suitable Walking Schedule For The Very Beginners?
If you are someone who is new at this activity then it is important that you are not pushing your body beyond its limit. At first, check your walking posture. Before you catch a fast pace, you should try walking at a normal pace for some time. Make sure you are clothed comfortably and your shoes don’t pinch. You can either walk indoors, outdoors or on a treadmill. However, the most efficient method is walking outdoors. Let’s see how beginners should begin and increase their daily walking routine.
For the very first week begin with walking for twenty minutes every day. Make sure your pace is normal and easy. For the first week, try walking for four to five days. Your body will gradually start adapting to the new routine. Walk for at least an hour through the course of the week. If you feel tired you can take a day or two off to rest.
Goal for the first week: 60 to 75 minutes.
Increase your walking duration a little by adding five more minutes to the previous twenty minutes routine. Now, you will be walking for twenty five minutes each day. Your aim should be to walk for at nearly two hours over the entire week.
Goal for the second week: 75 to 100 minutes.
Further add five more minutes to the twenty five minutes walking routine. This will now help increase your stamina. You will now be walking for half an hour daily.
Goal for the third week: 100 to 125 minutes.
You know the drill by now. Add another five minutes to the half an hour walking routine. Walk for thirty five minutes daily.
Weekly total goal: 125 to 150 minutes.
If you find it tiring or difficult to walk for the extra five minutes that you have added, then skip that. You can continue walking with the previous duration. Progress only once you feel that you can walk for another extra five minutes without difficulty.
Safety Suggestions For Your Walking Exercise
Though walking is one of the easiest and safest exercises out there, there is always the possibility of unexpected health issues. Hence it is better that you take care beforehand.
- Before you begin this activity or any other, you should always consult your doctor. Especially if you are overweight, your age is above thirty five years or you have not done an activity since a long time.
- If the weather is rainy, you should take a waterproof clothing with you so you don’t get wet and fall sick.
- Be careful while walking on edgy areas, mountains, elevated areas and coastal areas.
- It’s better that you look at your body capability before you start exercising. Walk for a distance that does not require you to push yourself. Also make sure you are not getting breathless due to walking.
- While going out, make sure you put on sunscreen and you are wearing sunglasses. Also, in order to avoid a sunburn, try wearing a hat and full sleeved clothes.
- Make sure you are drinking a lot of water after and before your walking exercise. If you are going to be walking for long hours, then make sure you take a water bottle with you.
- It is very important to take care of your feet, especially if you are on a walking routine because that can often cause blisters. Make sure your shoes are comfortable.
- To fend off any unfriendly or unleashed dogs, carry an umbrella or walking stick with you.
- To ease in and out of your walking activity, warm up and cool down with a gentle and slow walk.
- If you feel drained and tired, try to take a day off to rest.