More exercise isn’t necessarily better. By Divyata Raut
If running is an exercise that you have always shunned, turn to walking for a plethora of benefits - and added fat loss. Simply put, losing weight is a walk in the park! Here are six reasons to adopt walking as a daily exercise.
1. It burns more fat
Walking is a cardiovascular form of exercise that is done at a much slower pace than other aerobic exercises. Although walking burns far fewer calories than running, maintaining a steady pace for a longer time causes your body to use fat as a fuel. Since running is carried out at a faster pace, your body turns to using carbohydrates instead of fat stores. Dr. Grace Lordan, who ran a study at the London School of Economics found out that people who opted for ”regular brisk walking” as a form of exercise had smaller waists and lower (BMI) Body Mass Indexes than those who went to the gym regularly. So rejoice if you want to lower your body fat percentage but hate running or don’t have a gym membership.
2. It is easier to keep up with
There is no surprise that walking is an exercise that is easy and even relaxing to do. As something that is already incorporated in our daily lives, it’s hard to lose hope with such a simple exercise. Instead of searching for the motivation to jog, look to walking for a beneficial cardiovascular workout that does not require much energy. For such an effortless workout, no excuses can be made! Walking is also a social activity that you can carry out as you converse with your family or a group of friends. In fact, it’s a fun and easy workout that you can look forward to daily.
3. It is good for heart-health
Scheduling a run every other day might sound extremely efficient in achieving weight loss goals, but a study by cardiologist James O’ Keefe reveals that runners who run at a pace of 11km/hour almost every day have the same risk of death as individuals who stay inactive. This is because overworking your body can be taxing to the heart, causing a list of other problems. Keefe explained that frequent increases of blood flow over the years can cause micro-tears to your heart that could eventually lead to heart failure. His research also shows that people who brisk walk for 1-2.5 hours weekly lower their risk of death by 25 percent.
4. It reduces stress levels
Walking, especially in greenery, helps to keep stress levels down, as reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. We are often warned to keep stress at bay in order for a smoother fitness journey. This is because higher stress levels inevitably cause us to reach out for calorie-laden comfort foods. Clearing your mind during walks in the park will keep stress levels down causing you to refrain from opting for unhealthier food choices, resulting in faster weight loss!
5. It ensures that your diet stays on track
A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that women who engage in intense physical activities tend to regain the number of calories they lost by eating it back again. Brisk walking, on the other hand, works your body in a controlled manner, making sure that walkers don’t overeat after their workout. With diet being significantly more important than exercise for fat loss, best believe that a daily combination of brisk walking and clean eating will lead to a slimmer you sooner than you think!
6. It is a low impact exercise
Compared to running, walking is a low impact exercise that is much easier on the joints. Running increases the risk of injury to our knees as well as other joints but light swift steps in brisk walking reduce this risk significantly. This makes walking a great long-term exercise without the woes of ailing joints in the future.
It’s often said that weight loss requires a holistic approach- one needs to be mindful, consistent and determined. Walking not only adds to your wellness but is also an easy activity that is almost impossible to give up on. So partner up with someone to kickstart this healthy step towards change to feel and look like a better version of yourself!