One of the best benefits of walking is that you get to see and experience so much more of the world around you that you miss when you drive or ride in a vehicle. However, walking also comes with a plethora of health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s simple to do and free, actually saving money in some cases if a taxi or Uber was the alternative. The drawback is that it takes more time to do in some cases. For shorter distances, particularly in congested cities, it may actually be quicker.
Not ready for the exercise routine yet? Start walking.
Not everyone is ready to jump in with both feet when it comes to exercise. Increasing the amount of time walking is a good way to get a start on an exercise program, but without the cost or learning curve. Walking more can help reduce the risk of serious conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. While any type of additional activity, such as walking, provides additional exercise, walking at a brisk pace is particularly good.
Walking briskly can be better than running.
You’ll get plenty of exercise when you walk, but not be as at risk of injury as you would be if you ran. Studies show that it may actually be more beneficial for heart health than running is. One major study shows that people who walked regularly actually did fare better when it came to good health than those that ran. That doesn’t mean all runners should stop running and take up walking. It just means that sedentary people will reap benefits from something as simple as walking.
Walking should be part of your workout program, but not the whole program.
While adding walking to your fitness regimen is easy to do and boosts your overall health, it can’t be the cure-all for fitness. It doesn’t provide strength training for the upper body or flexibility training. You will build endurance, but that requires that you walk more briskly. The great part about walking is that you can do it in shorter sessions that are at least ten minutes long. Three ten minute walking sessions in a day is as good as a half hour of walking. It’s also free and can even save money if you’re leaving your car parked.
- Walking is a weight bearing exercise, which means it helps promote bone density and fights osteoporosis. It also burns extra calories, so it’s a great weight loss aid.
- You can increase your daily walking in a variety of ways. Just walking to lunch or to the store if it’s relatively close, can boost your daily workout while accomplishing tasks.
- You’ll burn calories when you walk, but the best type of calorie burner is HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts. HIIT is a super calorie burner.
- Change your walk to a HIIT workout. Vary your speed from short bursts of extremely fast walking to slightly longer periods of moderate recovery walking.