You Don't Just Sit There! Start Getting More Walking As A Form Of Exercise

 By Zarifah binti Aziz | Published on June 23, 2022

Have you ever considered how walking can help in maintaining a healthy body?

Walking is a simple, free, and easy approach to become more active, lose weight, and become healthy. Moreover, walking is an aerobic workout, and any aerobic exercise can help you lose body fat. Neverhteless, combining walking with high-intensity activities like jogging or fast-paced walking might help target abdominal fat more effectively than walking alone (Hong et al., 2014).

Benefits of Walking

Several benefits of walking are listed below: Example

Can help maintain weight

When walking is paired with a healthy diet, it can promote weight loss. The more you walk, you’ll lose inches and even pounds, especially when you walk everyday. Additionally, walking can lower your risk of obesity and diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that most adults should aim for 10,000 steps per day as a result. This is approximately equivalent to 8 kilometers, or 5 miles, for most people.

Improves mental health

You might not be aware that walking can improve your mental health. According to a study (1), it can aid in lowering levels of anxiety, depression, and negative mood. Besides that, it can increase self-confidence and lessen social withdrawal symptoms. 

In terms of lowering anxiety and depression, psychologists discovered that a 10-minute walk can be just as helpful as a 45-minute workout. Moreover, walking with friends or family members can improve your mood as you can share new stories with them and have fun together.

Reduces belly fat

In one small study (2), obese women who walked for an average of 50–70 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks greatly reduced their body fat and waist circumference. When compared to the control group, the exercise group had significantly less visceral (from within your abdominal cavity) and subcutaneous (under the skin) fat.

So, you should start walking at least 3 times per week to help in weight loss and reduce belly fat.

Recommendations

Walking around 2.5 hours per week at a brisk pace (Ludlow and Weyand, 2016).

How to make sure walking is effective in losing weight. 

  • Increase pace with interval training 
  • Add some weight during walking 
  • Go further distance 

Warm up by walking gently during the first five minutes of each stroll.

How to make walking as a habit.

The following can assist you in developing a habit of walking, according to the National Health Service (2016):

  • Walking as part of your commute to work
  • Taking the steps instead of the lift to the shop
  • Leaving the car at home for short trips
  • Escorting the children to school
  • Walking with a friend on a regular basis
  • Going for a walk after dinner with family or friends
  •  

Other health benefits of walking (Betterhealth, 2018)

  • Improved cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness (heart and lungs)
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • Better control of illnesses such hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscle pain or stiffness, and diabetes
  • Enhanced balance and stronger bones
  • Enhanced muscular strength and endurance
  • Body fat was decreased

Conclusion

If you just lie down in bed at home, nothing good will happen. Therefore, you should start walking at least three times per day as it has many health benefits for your body, including helping in the maintenance of healthy weight, strengthening the heart, and reducing the risk of developing heart disease. 

Additionally, it can help your mental health, particularly on days when work is stressful. Walking alongside your loved ones will make the walking even more enjoyable because you can tell each other new stories and take in the scenery.

Reference

  1. Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary care companion to the Journal of clinical psychiatry, 8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a
  2. Hong HR, Jeong JO, Kong JY, Lee SH, Yang SH, Ha CD, Kang HS. Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2014 Sep;18(3):277-85. doi: 10.5717/jenb.2014.18.3.277. Epub 2014 Sep 10. PMID: 25566464; PMCID: PMC4241903.
  3. Betterhealth. (2018). Walking for good health – Better Health Channel. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/walking-for-good-health#health-benefits-of-walking
  4. Hong, H.-R., Jeong, J.-O., Kong, J.-Y., Lee, S.-H., Yang, S.-H., Ha, C.-D., & Kang, H.-S. (2014). Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry, 18(3), 277–285. doi:10.5717/JENB.2014.18.3.277
  5. Ludlow, L. W., & Weyand, P. G. (2016). Energy expenditure during level human walking: Seeking a simple and accurate predictive solution. Journal of Applied Physiology, 120(5), 481–494. doi:10.1152/JAPPLPHYSIOL.00864.2015
  6. National Health Service. (2016). Walking for health – NHS. Retrieved June 17, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/running-and-aerobic-exercises/walking-for-health/
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