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Benefits of walking

on . Posted in Exercise

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benefits of walking

While it's true that walking doesn't burn fat as fast as jogging or Spinning classes or any other high-intensity workouts, however numerous research indicates that it is a extremely effective weight reduction tool.  For instance, a survey published inside the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that brisk walking is very efficient for reducing deep abdominal fat, probably the most threatening type of fat.  

Additionally the University of Colorado study learned that if individuals could agree to walking 2,000 steps each day more than they are doing now -- the same as about 1.6km or about 15 minutes worth of movement -- they may not necessarily lose weight but would most likely stop gaining.  The typical adult gains 500gm to 1.5kg a year, which means they're eating, on average, an excess of 125 kilojoules a day.   The 418 kilojoules per day burned off from walking 2,000 steps would more than make amends for this excess.

What are the benefits of walking

Scientific study has also discovered that walking an additional 6,000 steps a day (or about 4.8km) is the point at which the weight really start coming off, as long as it is done in conjunction with sensible eating habits like fat, calorie and portion control.

A report from the National Institutes of Medicine makes similar recommendations, advising an hour of daily walking or another moderate exercise for weight loss.   Also, the majority of participants in the National Weight Control Registry, an ongoing survey of more than 3,000 people who have lost at least 13kg and kept it off for more than a year, report walking as one of their major-weight loss strategies.  You may notice that I reference the registry frequently. That's because it is the only "living laboratory" to examine weight loss in the real world.

So if walking doesn't exactly melt calories like hot butter on toast, why is it a really successful weight loss strategy? For starters, walking is known for a major advantage over most other fitness activities:   It does not require a lot of stuff.  No helmets, gloves, wrenches, pumps, kneepads, wrist guards, caps, goggles, pools or poles. Just lace up your shoes, open the front door, and away you go. (Ladies, I also recommend a decent bra. If you aren't doing power walking,it doesn't even have to even be a sports bra, just something sturdy with a lot of support to reduce the bounce.) Plus, unless you are a toddler, walking has virtually no learning curve.

More benefits of walking:

  • You will sleep better.
  • You will increase your life expectancy.
  • You will lower your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and colon cancer.
  • You will get sick less often, because your immune system will be stronger.
  • Your mental health will improve; you will have a lower risk of depression and anxiety
  • (In Buddhism, there is a form of meditation called walking meditation which is just what is sounds like, meditating while walking. This is exercise more for the mind and soul than for your metabolism, as this type of walking is intended to be done slowly, more of a meander to clear your mind.)
  • You can keep your weight under control and if you increase the amount of walking it is good for weight loss.
  • You will strenghten your bones and be at lower risk for osteoporosis.
  • As you age, you will have better balance and flexibility and be at lower risk for falls.
  • Exercise may even prevent dementia and make you smarter, according to some recent studies.
Of course, running is equally accessible and convenient, but it also has a much higher injury rate. Walking is considerably easier on your joints, tendons and ligaments -- although a small % of walkers do get injured from overdoing it or wearing the incorrect shoes.  Walking is also less exhausting, so you may be more likely to stick to your program. Running may burn twice the calories per minute as walking (running burns an average of 33 to 50 kilojoules per minute compared to walking which only burns 16 to 33 kilojoules per minute at a moderate pace), but if you quit after 5 minutes because your knees feel like they're about to explode, what's the point? Even most beginners can walk for at least 10 minutes straight without feeling winded and from there, it's fairly easy to build up stamina.
 
Walking is also a particularly good weight loss activity since it is so easily adaptable to your fitness level. As you grow more fit, you are able to walk faster, walk more often, walk up steeper hills or walk for a longer time.  If you don't find walking especially motivating, find a way to allow it to become more entertaining. You'll be able to bop along to your ipod mix so long as you stay on the treadmill or road and keep the volume low enough to stay aware of your surroundings. You can walk with a friend or join a group.  I find walking in the outdoors to be extremely relaxing and rejuvenating!
 
Where do you like to walk and how long does your walk last for?  Do you wear a heart rate monitor to track how many cals you have burnt, or do you wear a pedometer to measure how many steps you have completed?