The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality. It is recommended that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of high intensity activity a week.
Walking falls into the category of moderate intensity activity and it is recommended that 30 minutes of brisk walking, at least 5 times a week is the required activity for adults to stay healthy. Now walking to the restroom, car or the dining table may not quite suffice in this regard. To get the health benefits of walking you need to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes straight. ‘Brisk’ walking means that you can still talk but not sing while you walk, and you may be puffing slightly. One measure to quantify brisk walking is “steps per minute,” and 100 steps per minute is considered moderate intensity or brisk walking.
Walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 30 minutes every day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training- no gym membership needed. The only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes.
If maintaining overall health is your goal, 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 times a week is perfect for you. However, if weight-loss is your goal you will need to do a bit more. Aim for a brisk walk of 45 to 90 minutes most days of the week for weight loss. If you already have your workout routine or gym program you are following, then try adding 30 minutes of brisk walking to your daily routine. You can burn about 150 more calories a day by adding walking and to lose a pound a week, you generally need to eliminate 500 calories a day. For weight loss, you can also add 15 minutes of strength training after your walks.
Running and walking are said to be two of the best fat-burning exercises.
Getting a fitness trackers can also help in motivating you to making walking a lifestyle. Fitness trackers are very popular now because they help increase your consciousness to keep active and help tracks your steps. On average the
typical goal set on the fitness trackers is 10,000 steps a day. Taking 10,000 daily steps means you’ve walked about five miles or 9 kilometers – that’s an awesome goal to work towards as the average person only walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps per day, according to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
There are also loads of free apps like Endomondo, Nike Run, S Health e.t.c.that can be used on your device to track your walks.
So, remember- if your goal is to maintain overall health – 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 days a week should suffice. If your goal is weight loss, aim for 45-90 minutes brisk walking 5-6 days a week and on some days you can add 15 minutes of strength training afterwards.
Whatever your goal, consistency plays a major role. Make walking a lifestyle and not an occasional feat – that way you are guaranteed to reap the results you seek.
Let’s walk our way to good health.
Moderate activities such as walking pose little health risk; but if you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen
See you on the healthy side of Life.
Infographic Credit: walkboston.org