Is WALKING really exercise?

walking as exercise

As I find myself with many more years behind me that before me, I decided to take my health more seriously. Some circumstances have forced me to TEMPORALY change my eating habits. I cutout most of my sugar intake (soft drinks, candy) and eliminating eating between meals. With this new routine I found myself losing some much-needed pounds and I was actually enjoying my meals. I also started walking, a short distance at first and then it got longer, on average I now walk between 2 and 3 miles, and the pounds melted off (lost 50lbs).  I then committed to take a minimum 10 minute walk every day, no distance requirements, no minimum steps.  I have done this for 7 months now and I feel great.  Arthritic pain is gone, I sleep better, and I am upholding a comfortable weight.  I listen to podcast as I walk, that for me made this time enjoyable and now that I have established a habit, I look forward to walks.

Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise, yet its benefits are abundant and accessible to nearly everyone. As a low-impact activity, walking provides numerous advantages for fitness training and overall well-being.

Firstly, walking is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. Engaging in brisk walking raises your heart rate, improving circulation and enhancing cardiovascular health. Regular cardiovascular activity, such as walking, can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular endurance.

Moreover, walking is an effective way to burn calories and manage weight. While the intensity of walking may not match that of high-intensity interval training or running, it still contributes to calorie expenditure. Consistent walking can help individuals maintain a healthy weight or support weight loss goals when combined with a balanced diet.

Additionally, walking promotes muscle strength and endurance, particularly in the lower body. As you walk, your leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, engage to propel you forward. Uphill walking or walking at a faster pace can further challenge these muscles, leading to improved strength and endurance over time.

Furthermore, walking is beneficial for mental health and stress reduction. The rhythmic motion of walking can be meditative and calming, allowing individuals to clear their minds and reduce stress levels. Spending time outdoors while walking also exposes individuals to sunlight, which can boost mood and vitamin D levels.

One of the greatest advantages of walking is its accessibility. Unlike many other forms of exercise that require specialized equipment or facilities, walking requires only a comfortable pair of shoes and a safe environment. Whether you choose to walk around your neighborhood, in a local park, or on a treadmill indoors, the simplicity and accessibility of walking make it a practical choice for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

In conclusion, walking offers a multitude of benefits for exercise and fitness training. From improving cardiovascular health and managing weight to promoting muscle strength and mental well-being, walking is a versatile and accessible form of physical activity. Incorporating regular walks into your routine can contribute to a healthier and more active lifestyle, enhancing both physical and mental vitality.

My recommended podcast: Podcast – Walking is Fitness

–Jumpstart your fitness using this walking podcast for a daily ten-minute walk. Dave is walking as he records each episode. —
 This podcast is recorded while I’m out walking too. It’s like having a walking buddy to give you a little added motivation to keep your fitness promise. There’s a brand-new episode every single day.” Dave Paul

Certainly, it’s important to note that while walking offers numerous health benefits, individual circumstances may vary. Before starting any new exercise regimen, it’s advisable for individuals to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions or concerns about their physical capabilities. Understanding personal limitations and receiving medical guidance can help ensure safe and effective participation in physical activities like walking.