Weight loss walking is a winning choice! Apart from losing weight, walking has many other vital health benefits. If you feel sluggish, unfit or a bit overweight, take a walk and feel alive again.
It is cheap, easy, anyone can do it, and it delivers results.
Walking can involve the whole family and make a meaningful difference in your life if done briskly and regularly.
Unlike running, walking and talking seem to be synonymous. Even at a brisk walking pace, you can quite easily have a chat.
There is no excuse not to take a walk. Walking is possible just about anywhere and in most conditions. You don't have to go out and buy anything. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and the suitable clothing for the weather, and off you go.
The Benefit of Weight Loss Walking
Many people wonder how something as basic as walking can effectively work in losing weight. Walking can be done at many different energy levels so the impact on weight loss obviously depends on the intensity level. At one end of the spectrum, there are the super fit, slim, world-class competitive walkers who walk faster than most of us can run. Whereas at the other end of the spectrum, there are the strollers who just take a gentle daily amble.
In many cases, walking can start a whole new lifestyle mindset as one realizes the benefits and pleasures of this no (or little) sweat exercise.
Weight Loss with Walking
We accept that walking is not the fastest way to lose weight.
A gentle stroll may only use an additional 100 calories per hour and walking at a pace of 10 kph an hour in the region of 250 calories per hour. To consume the 3500 calories in a pound of fat could take anything up to 35, or more, hours of gentle walking.
The Many Benefits of Walking
The weight loss benefit is only half the story as in addition there are many other health benefits from walking.
Walking enhances circulation by increasing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure and strengthening the heart. It improves the functioning of a number of your internal systems. You will breathe more deeply and heavily, and many parts of your body will be called on to work a bit harder.
Post-menopausal women who walk just one to two miles a day can lower their blood pressure by nearly 11 points in 24 weeks. According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, women who walk 30 minutes a day can reduce their risk of stroke by 20% and by 40% when they step up the pace.
Beef Up Up Your Bones
Walking can stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis, according to Michael A. Schwartz, MD, of Plancher Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in New York. In another study of post-menopausal women it.was found that 30 minutes of walking each day reduced their risk of hip fractures by 40%.
Have a Longer Healthier Life
Research finds that people who exercise regularly in their 50's and 60's are 35% less likely to die over the next eight years than their non-walking counterparts. That number shoots up to 45% less likely compared to those who have underlying health conditions.
Regular walkers get ill less often, for a shorter duration, and their symptoms are milder.
One study tracked 1,000 adults during the flu season who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least five days a week. Those who walked at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes a day had 43 per cent fewer sick days and fewer upper respiratory tract infections.
Walking releases natural pain killing endorphins to the body – one of the emotional benefits of exercise. A California State University, Long Beach, study showed that the more steps people took during the day, the better their moods.
A brisk 30-minute walk burns 200 calories. Over time, calories burned can lead to the loss of pounds.
Walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes contribute to body weight. They discovered the effects of those genes halved with the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day,
Walking tones your leg and abdominal muscles – and even arm muscles if you pump them as you walk. This strengthening increases your range of motion, shifting the pressure and weight from your joints to your muscles.
Studies found that women, ages 50 to 75, who took one-hour morning walks, were more likely to relieve insomnia than women who didn't walk.
Support Your Joints
Walking strengthens joints and bones by gentle pressure providing a defence against diseases like osteoporosis.
The majority of joint cartilage has no direct blood supply. Walking can ease joint pain and protect the joints by lubricating them and strengthening the surrounding muscles.
Several studies have found that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming.
Improve Breathing and Boost Energy
When walking, your breathing rate increases, causing oxygen to travel faster through the bloodstream, helping to eliminate waste products and improve your energy level and the ability to heal.
Slow Down Mental Decline
A study of 6,000 women, ages 65 and older, performed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that age-related memory decline was lower in those who walked more. The women walking 2.5 miles per day had a 17% decline in memory. This decline compared to a 25% decline in women who walked less than a half-mile per week.
A study from the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville found that men between the ages of 71 and 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day had half the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease than those who walked less.
Do More for Longer
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management found that aerobic walking and resistance exercise programs can reduce the incidence of disability in the activities of daily living for people older than 65 and who have symptomatic osteoarthritis.
Curb Sugar Cravings
It helps tame a sweet tooth.
A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb chocolate cravings and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.
Walking can help clear your head and think creatively. Join famous walkers who include Aristotle and Charles Dickens to more modern-day advocates like Nassim Taleb and Steve Jobs. These people used their walks for exercise, contemplation, problem-solving, and even meetings.
In a study that included four experiments, researchers compared people trying to think of new ideas while walking or sitting. They found participants did better while walking. Specifically while walking outdoors and concluded that walking opens up a free flow of ideas and is a simple way to increase creativity while getting physical exercise.
Try to initiate a walking meeting with your family or colleagues the next time you're stuck on a problem at home or work.
Hiking has become a trendy pastime with people getting out into the country and walking trails. Off-road walking has the added benefit in that one usually carries additional weight. In addition the unevenness of the paths adds additional stress to the joints and tendons. Building them up and strengthening them.
When starting, don't overdo it.
Aim at going out for about 30 minutes at a comfortable pace.
As your fitness improves, you can increase both the speed and time. Avoid trying to do too much too soon. Even with walking, there is a chance of getting some niggling minor injury, which can kill your motivation.
Start today and keep it up; you'll be surprised at how quickly you start enjoying it, feeling better, with less stress and tension, sleeping better, and the weight loss will be an added benefit.
Although there is a weight-loss benefit from walking, there are many other critical overall benefits that lead to a more healthy and enjoyable life.
If you'd like more advice or support on your journey please contact me