Walking is probably one of the most underrated forms of exercise. And while it may not seem as fancy or as important as other forms of intense exercise, we are designed to walk. It’s in our DNA and has always been a huge part of our existence as a dominant species on this planet all throughout the centuries.
Walking to Lose Weight
The CDC recommends that adults take about 10,000 steps per day – this is roughly about 5 miles. You’ve probably noticed your Fitbit or fitness apps give you this daily goal. Sadly, most people don’t get even close to that. This is especially the case for those with office jobs.
Walking is just as effective as some more intense workouts when it comes to losing weight. In fact, according to a few studies, walking briskly for as little as 30 minutes a day resulted in a smaller waistline and a lower body mass index compared to non-walkers. Ideally, you’ll want to gradually work up to a longer amount of walking time per day, but just remember that every little bit of walking throughout the day helps.
As you walk you burn up calories without leaving you to feel too exhausted, this can lead to an impressive amount of weight loss over time. Depending on your weight, you can burn up to 100 calories per mile, this is great news if you’re looking for a low-impact exercise that is free, easy on the joints, and something that can be performed just about anywhere.
Of course, healthy eating and more intense exercise also go hand-in-hand with weight-loss and healthy weight maintenance.
The Mental Benefits of Walking
Going for a morning or evening walk does more for you than just helping you lose weight or to help you stay physically fit. Studies have shown the effect walking has on reducing stress levels. It gives you a chance to clear your mind or gather your thoughts before the day starts or after a long day.
Walking gives us a much need break from things we’re easily distracted by at home, such as TV, smartphones or tablets. Many great ideas, inventions, and life-changing events came from a single walk. If you’ve been one to underestimate the power of walking, you may want to reconsider. Even just 5 minutes a day of walking can be the start of a new habit that’s good for both mind and body.