12 Benefit of Walking
With all the hype over HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), does it seem like walking
is not worthy of being called “a workout?” Not so! Walking has a full spectrum of
benefits, as do other forms of steady-state cardio. Walking workouts can range from
comfortable to challenging to everything in between.
Don’t have time for a 30-minute daily walk? How about 20 minutes? Be honest here;
you have time for this. Next time you are Facebook or Instagram, the time it. Yep, we all
waste time on social media. We know; we do it too! Let’s not even get started on TV,
texting, Snapchat, Twitter….
Fab benefits of a daily walk:
1. You will burn calories
Depending on the speed of the walk and how much you weigh, you will burn
somewhere between 100 to 150 calories (larger peeps burn more calories than
smaller peeps and effort counts: the harder/faster the walk the more calories burned:
hills are harder than flats, and a faster gait is harder than slow).
To put that in perspective, if nothing else changed, that extra calorie burn in your day
would result in the loss of at least 10 pounds over the course of a year.
2. Your brain will relax
Walking calms the brain and with consistency sends awesome endorphin hormones
through your body that make you feel great. Whether you are walking on a busy street,
by the ocean, or through a beautiful country scene, this physiological adaptation is
3. Your legs and hips will look slimmer
Walking tones not only the front and back of your legs (quads, hamstrings, calves) but
also the inner and outer thigh. The stabilizers around your hips will strengthen,
benefitting your glutes. Because walking is an endurance-based activity, if you want
more than toning, add some walking lunges or squats to further enhance
4. Your abs will look better
Not only will your legs strengthen, but your core also will too! Did you know that your obliques
(the muscle next to the rectus abdominus on the side) are actively engaged in walking?
Try pulling your abs in (this uses your transverse abdominus the muscle that makes
your abs look flat) and as you walk adjust your posture. Focus on the activity in the
obliques as your body rotates through your gait.
5. You could have a reduction in your
Walking improves circulation and can reduce the appearance and pain of varicose
veins, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
6. You will have faster gastric emptying
and better glucose metabolism
The upside is that your body will be better at warding off diabetes and other
related digestive illness like colon cancer.
7. Your brain gets creative
Stuck and cannot come up with any ideas? Is it hard to focus at work? When you walk,
your brain moves into the creative realm. Not only does the increased blood flow help,
but also the stimulation of exercise allows better communication between the
hemispheres of the brain. Bring something to take notes with…you just may want to jot
down your ideas! Enlist your co-workers and take your lunch project meetings on the
road in your sneaks and let the ideas flow!
8. You can save on gas
Knock out chores and errands on foot. Take your phone for catching up with friends.
Next time you need to drive a mile to go to the pharmacy, don your kicks and walk
instead. Time-wise, you will need about 10-20 minutes more, but by walking you
exercised and ran an errand at the same time. Win-Win!
9. Your body will slim down
Extra movement during the day is a major factor in losing weight and maintaining
weight loss. Move more, weigh less! Invest in a backpack or rolling cart for those
errands that involve carrying groceries etc. Your return on investment is less spent on
gas, more calories burned, and a slimmer body!
10. Your relationships can strengthen
Walking with a friend or spouse not only tightens your bond, the commitment to meet
provides motivation to stay consistent. We think twice about bailing when someone is
waiting for you.
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11. You will need less willpower
Once habits are established, they become automatic responses; the willpower
necessary to establish the habit decreases; you go on autopilot and just do it. To get
there, ease the transition from willpower to the habit by enlisting a friend (with the
commitment that no lame excuses will keep you from your meeting). It will take a
couple of months to establish the habit; keep each other accountable.
12. Habits become YOU.
As you make walking part of your routine, the benefits compound; longer walks will
start to sound fun. Not only that, but as you see the benefits, it might inspire you to try
new things such as strength-based classes like Definitions or Barre Fusion. Success
breeds success. A 30-minute walk is do-able for just about everyone, and once that
habit is established and some results have been felt in your body, you will be inspired to
do even more!
So get out there and have some fun! Walking is a great first step (pun intended!). Then
get your selfie, tag, and snapchat! xo (: