Walking Mistakes You're Making

By Sara Butler

Walking just doesn’t get a lot of respect as a form of exercise and it’s time that changed! Walking is a workout that can be good for your body and mind. You can tailor it to fit your specific needs and your fitness level, plus it’s a low-impact workout that’s healthy for your joints. Walking as exercise has suffered from misinformation. Here are three of the biggest walking mistakes people make.

Mistake No. 1: You Must Walk 10,000 Steps

For some reason, people focus on 10,000 as the number of steps they should take each day. While 10,000 steps per day is a noble goal that studies have associated with improved blood sugar and lower blood pressure, the number can feel overwhelming to people just starting out.

Instead of focusing on the number of steps you take, focus on the amount of time you spend exercising per week. Many health professionals suggest 150 minutes of moderate exercise. If you’re getting that through walking or some other form of movement, then you’re going in the right direction.

Mistake No. 2: Assuming Walking isn’t as Good as Running

Walking often serves as a starting point for a lot of people to get their body moving and improve fitness, stamina, and health. While some people may use walking as a way to condition themselves to move up to jogging or running, if you have no desire to run, then that’s OK. Walking is good for everyone and is just as good from a fitness perspective as running when it comes to cardiovascular health.

In fact, some studies have found that high blood pressure, heart disease, and cholesterol rates were all reduced in regular walkers -- more so than runners. As long as you maximize the benefits of walking, you shouldn’t feel guilty about having any desire to break into a run.

Mistake No. 3: Assuming that Walking Doesn’t Help with a Healthy Weight

If you’re trying to achieve or maintain a healthy weight, then walking will help you accomplish your goals! A slow stroll may not be what you need but incorporating some principles of high-intensity interval training into your walks is certainly a good idea.

To add HIIT principles, simply pick up the pace at regular intervals as you walk. If you can push your pace for a couple of minutes at regular intervals, then you’re going to kick your calorie burns into high gear.

Walking is great exercise -- so don't fall for common walking traps! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Wayne, N.J.

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