In this day and age, everyone would agree that exercise is beneficial for our wellbeing. Maybe some would not consider walking an exercise, because the word exercise is usually associated with the strenuous physical activity. Regardless of what would and wouldn't be considered exercise, experts agree that walking is beneficial if it is done on regular basis. It is a good alternative for people who have injuries that prevent them from doing more demanding exercises and for elderly people. One of the reasons why it is beneficial is that people are made for walking. We can walk for longer distances than any other animal.
The Health Benefits of Exercise
Exercising is connected with a whole range of health benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, excess weight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression and anxiety, osteoporosis, low testosterone, impotence, stress and many cancers. Walking can have the same effect if it is done regularly. For example, moderate walking (5 km/h, or 3.1 mph) can be done several times a day in short periods of 10 minutes each. In order to increase the health benefits, it is preferable to increase the intensity of the walking by increasing the speed of walking or the terrain.
The good thing about walking (besides the benefits) is that it can be toned to each individual according to their preference and the goals they want to achieve. Whether it is weight loss, doing a type of cardio to increase the overall stamina or to simply enjoy walking. Walking can be done on different surfaces, whether it is the local park or the nearest mountain or even the neighborhood. The options are limitless. Some people prefer to do the walking on treadmills in the gyms, it is better than doing no exercise but it is not as good as regular walking because it is not as demanding.
Walking as the Ultimate Exercise
If you are not doing any kind of physical activities, walking can be a sufficient substitute for it. It can be done in a way that doesn't feel like an exercise. Whether it is buying groceries or going to work or school, incorporating walking can be beneficial without having that feeling that you have to go to the gym and sweat. If you could maintain a speed of 4-6 km/h (2.5-3.7 mph) for about half an hour each day you can feel satisfied that you have done your exercise for the day.
Regular walking can protect against chronic disease, because of the nature of walking it has a very low-risk injury compared to other exercises. Sometimes walking can be almost as challenging as other types of anaerobic exercises, it can be done on surfaces with a high incline. To make things more challenging, a person can add a weight west while walking. Even walking over long distances is a challenging exercise, it can burn a lot of calories, but it takes much more time than running.
You Should Walk for At Least 16 Minutes a Day
Compared to the past, now people walk much less than their ancestors did. That is mostly due to the development of new technologies that made life much easier for everyone thereby removing the need to travel by foot. Walking has always been an intrinsic part of every human because for many centuries it was the only means of travel to places. The human body was shaped by nature to walk for extremely long distances.
In a study which simulated life in the early colony of Sydney, researchers showed that people walked 4-6 hours a day. Of course, in this day and age, no one would spend that much time walking because it takes up a lot of time, but scientist suggests that in order to decrease the chance of dying by 20% walking for about 56 minutes or running for 16 minutes a day is enough. As the scientist in the field suggests, taking up walking has many benefits and unlike other sports, you don't need to buy equipment to do it.