The gyms are closed because of COVID, you are looking to increase your activity levels, so you think high energy cardio exercises are the answer.
Why not try walking?
Before you hit the x and close this window, hear me out. Walking is the most underrated activity you can do to become a healthier version of yourself. And it is free! No special equipment needed to start walking or expensive gym memberships.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is considered a low impact workout, meaning it increases your heart rate while minimizing the amount of stress or impact you put your joints under. You can get out and walk without worrying about the risks associated with some more vigorous forms of exercise. Walking is great for everyone, including people who are overweight, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.
Some of the benefits of walking include:
- increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
- reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
- improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness, and diabetes
- stronger bones and improved balance
- reduced body fat.
A Weight Loss Solution?
Many people want to start exercising to help drop some additional weight. Just think, if you maintained your current diet and added in a 30 minute brisk walk per day, you could burn an additional 100-300 calories a day, 700-2100 calories per week, or 36,400-109,200 per year. If 3500 calories is equal to 1lb of fat, that could equate to 10-31lbs per year (results may vary)!
However, it is important to remember that exercise is just one component of health and wellness. If you are looking to drop some additional weight, food accounts for 100% of the energy we consume, but only 10-30% is actually burned with physical activity. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise, it just means you should choose a sustainable fitness routine, like walking, that has a lot of other benefits than just weight loss.
Where To Begin?
If you are looking to begin walking more, how many steps should you aim for per day? Many health professionals say to aim for 10,000 steps per day to help reduce certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. For those beginning a daily walking routine, start in small increments and work your way up to 10,000 steps. Try going up in increments of 1000 until you feel physically fit enough to sustain 10,000 steps per day.
Are you having troubles walking due to a pre-existing condition? If you are avoiding taking extra steps in your day because of pain or discomfort, please see a physiotherapist who can assess your mobility, build a plan, and help you work towards your goals of increased movement.
So lace up your shoes, find a friend to walk with or a great music play-list or audiobook to listen to, and get ready to reap the benefits of your new walking routine.