Why Walking Deserves More Respect
By Rachel Carver
Walking is one of the most popular physical activities among adults. Walking can increase your heart rate, improve your mood, and increase energy.
However, walking does not always get the respect it deserves. Here are some debunked walking myths that will give more credit to your walking program.
You Must Get 10,000 Steps
It feels good to accomplish a goal. Research suggests walking 10,000 steps each day can lower blood pressure and improve glucose tolerance.
However, 10,000 can feel very large to someone just starting a walking program. Don't let the idea that you must get 10,000 daily steps overwhelm you. Even smaller step amounts are good for you. Start with shorter walks and work your way up to longer ones at your own pace.
Walking Does Not Help With Weight Loss
While it is true that a slow stroll will not burn a lot of calories, being intentional about how you walk can decrease your scale number over time. Practice interval walking, which allows you to move fast and then slow down during your walks. Find a fun hiking trail or some hills to make your walk more challenging. Research suggests varying the pace can burn 20 percent more calories than maintaining the same pace.
Walking Is Only for People Who Can't Run
Walking is a great way to increase your strength and stamina for more intense exercises. But not all walkers want to run. Walking is great for everyone.
Multiple studies have shown that consistently hitting the trails or the pavement can improve cholesterol, blood pressure, and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. As you walk, you will be able to go further and faster as you get stronger. Focus on factors such as calories burned and total distance.
Brisk Walks Are the Only Walking Choice
Speeding up can help you burn more calories. But speed does not always have to be the primary goal. Walking a hill can burn calories and work muscles. The steeper the incline, the more calories you can burn. Focusing on longer distances may also be more beneficial than a brisk walk.
The Bottom Line
If you enjoy walking, don't feel guilty about not wanting to do something more intense. It is so important to be intentional about moving every day. The key is to find an activity you will stick with. Regular walking has so many benefits and can be fun with friends or on your own.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aiken, S.C.