Why Walking Is Good Exercise

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The other day, I heard an exercise instructor say that walking isn’t really exercise, and it upset me. There’s no reason to disregard any form of physical activity as not “difficult enough.” Walking is good exercise.

Is walking good for weight loss?

Working out doesn’t have to be extreme to be beneficial, and, as it turns out, putting one foot in front of the other is harder work than we thought.

This study shows that walking burns more calories than experts have presumed for decades. I’ll remember that when I’m walking my dog, Lucy (pictured below).DSC_0036

Any movement burns calories, and adding more walking to your routine may help with weight loss and prevent weight gain. In addition to burning calories, which may mean easier weight control, walking has other benefits.

How exercise alters gut health for the better

Why walking is good for mental health

Brains shrink with age, which is not good news for memory, judgement, and coordination.  Research from the UCLA Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh links any type of aerobic exercise, including walking, to a better brain structure and reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

I don’t know if my brain is expanding when I walk the dog every day, but I do know that it gets me out of the house and away from my desk, and that the rhythmic motion of walking reduces my stress and clears my mind.

Lucy is little, but she needs to exercise every day. That’s why I log at least 10 miles a week of walking outside in all kinds of weather. There is evidence that walking in nature changes your brain for the better.

Bottom line: Walk more for better health

I love to walk, and there’s no doubt that it’s good exercise. If you haven’t been working out lately, walking is a step in the right direction.

Start slowly and work up to at least 30 minutes on five days a week. Walking briskly offers more health benefits.

Walkers who have been doing the same loop for a while may want to take walking up a notch to make it more challenging.  Round out your walking routine with at least two sessions of resistance training, such as a weights or bands class, each week.

Now, where are my sneakers?

12 Comments

  1. Love this post! Walking is certainly better than sitting! I also find that even when I don’t plan to, when I take my dog out for a midday walk I tend to figure out problems or have ideas for blog posts. So it indeed exercises my legs as well as my brain.

    P.S. Hooray for calling them “sneakers”! You know you’re from the east coast when… My hubby, an LA native, calls them “tennis shoes.” Drives me nuts!

  2. I love that walking is so much more than exercise! It is time to think, time to relish nature, time to nurture a relationship, and/or time to listen to music or a podcast.

  3. MacLean ojwang says:

    I have used walking as workouts for as long as I remember and I have managed to maintain 68kgs and an 42 yrs looking and feeling like a teenger.it has worked for me ever since plus aerobics

  4. Great post! Walking is the perfect exercise because we can do it anywhere, anytime without needing to learn a new skill. Thank you so much for this great post and for linking to my book Walking Off The Weight For Dummies!

  5. Pingback: Surprising Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight with Exercise | Better Is the New Perfect

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