Here's Why Walking is a Hugely Underrated Exercise
These booties were made for walking.
No, but really. Your booty was made for walking.
You know that you sometimes dread the thought of going to the gym (and during pandemic times, working out out home). Cardio is such a bummer - but we've got to do it, right?
Right. But there's some good new for us out there. You read our title - walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise, and here's why.
"Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running," says Dr. Matt Tanneberg, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in Phoenix. Um, please, Dr. Tanneberg, tell us more!
"You hear of people 'plateauing' when they continue to do the same workout routine and stop seeing results. I see patients all the time that plateau from running, they will run the same distance, speed and time, day in and day out. You need to constantly be switching up your exercise routine in order to get the maximum benefit for your health," he continues. That means placing walking in-between your regular exercises is a super low-stress way to make sure that you don't plateau.
But, even if you literally just walk and don't do anything else, you're still doing a ton of good for yourself.
Leave it to a study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) to tell you why.
"Whether it is a stroll on a sunny day, walking to and from work, or walking down to the local shops, the act of putting one foot in front of the other in a rhythmic manner is as much human nature as breathing, thinking and loving," write the researchers.
The study observed more than 50,000 walkers and found that walking at an average or above average pace was related to a 24% decrease of the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 20% reduction in all-cause mortality. Another study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine had the same results with 140,000 participants.
Walking also helps to improve your mood, fitness, cardiac health overall, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and fight against depression and anxiety. Feel like getting out there and taking a walk yet?
A study from Stanford University even found that walking can increase our creative output by up to 60 percent. They measured this by looking at "divergent thinking," or the thought process that's used to come up with solutions to problems. The study showed that "walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”
At a brisk pace, a one hour walk can burn 200 to 600 calories, depending on your body and the speed you're going.
So, how do you switch up your walking routine?
You can add weights in order to beef up the intensity, so you're adding strength training into the mix.
if you're choosing to walk on a treadmill, you can walk on an incline to add more intensity to your workout. You increase the challenge to your cardiovascular system without actually having to run at all.
You can also try interval training, where you walk at a normal speed and then increase your pace or the incline on your treadmill. To step up the difficulty, increase the intervals where you're working harder.
It's as easy as that. Put on your walking shoes and your cutest Cute Booty outfit and start burning those calories with a simple stroll.