When we think of exercise and working out, walking often gets pushed aside and ignored. How can walking benefit you when you do it every day, right? But in reality, walking can have some amazing benefits that rival most other cardio workouts. So let’s find out how walking is the best form of exercise.
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- How Many Steps Should You Do A Day?
- Fitting It Into My Routine
- Physical Benefits
- Health Benefits
- Mental Boost
How Many Steps Should You Do A Day?
First things first, let’s start with how many steps you should do a day. If you think about it, even the most inactive people can walk at some point in the day, averaging at least 1000-2000 steps a day. So to make walking a workout, you need to be doing 7,500 – 10,000 steps most days, but this can be done however you want.
You can focus on hitting that step’s target, or you can walk a distance, pushing yourself to walk further every time, or you can focus on the speed you walk. It all depends on your day. If you’re an active person or have an active job, for example, hitting those steps might not be too difficult. However, for those less active, or maybe working a desk job, walking enough can be tough, so putting aside some time to go for a walk at lunch or at the end of the day can really help.
Fitting It Into My Routine
Fitting workouts into your routine can be difficult. Life’s busy, and we often prioritise other things over-exercising, but there are ways to make exercising and walking, in particular, a part of your daily routine. You could walk to work or go for a walk during your lunch break, focusing on boosting your step count or walking a certain distance. Or you could start or end your day with a nice walk to take in the quietest times of the day and to unwind.
Try it on the weekend if you have trouble fitting it in during the week. Go for a long walk out in nature where the terrain can push you, or do your weekend routine on foot instead of in the car. Even different types of walking can help give you the boost you need to make it a solid workout.
If none of the above suits you, you could grab yourself a treadmill and walk at home. Having a treadmill for walking means you can do it anytime that suits you, without you having to head outside if the weather isn’t to your liking. You could fit it in by walking on the treadmill whilst your favourite TV shows are on or once the kids have gone to bed; that way, you can still keep your days relatively the same.
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty; the physical benefits of walking. The best part of walking is that nearly anyone can do it, and it’s low impact, so even those with painful joints or extra weight can do it without a high risk of an injury.
By walking, you’re carrying your own weight, which means you’re strengthening your muscles, particularly your legs, and boosting your endurance. This also means it’s perfect for weight loss and progression. With the combination of cardio and light strength, walking helps work off any extra weight you might want to lose and means you can continue to push yourself further, whether by walking a longer distance or faster over time.
Along with strengthening your muscles, walking will also strengthen your bones and joints as they grow used to being used regularly. All of these benefits can also lead to an improved balance as your body is used to holding and balancing your weight and will learn to focus your hand-eye coordination.
Another reason walking is the best form of exercise is the health benefits. Walking can help improve your heart and lungs by making them work harder the more you push yourself. The more effort you put in, the more it will strengthen these vital muscles, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.
For anyone with health conditions such as high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or diabetes, walking more and regularly can help manage these conditions by strengthening the areas of the body affected.
Finally, let’s not forget about the mental boost walking can provide. Walking can give you the time to de-stress and relax, especially if you walk outside. Depending on the time of day or place you go for your walk, it can be a very peaceful and calming exercise, too, as you can take in the world around you. Not to mention the whole time, you’re releasing happy hormones from exercising.
Alternatively, you might want to go for a walk with a friend or pet, allowing you to connect with others in a relaxing environment.
So have we convinced you that walking is the best form of exercise? Either way, get outside and give it a try. Set a goal of so many steps, a certain distance or speed and see how far you can go. If you can fit it into your routine, you’ll see all the benefits in no time. Not to mention, it’s free!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.