Walking is very good for you, there’s not a lot of doubt about this. As a way of adding in physical activity to your life, walking workouts have many advantages. There’s a very tiny barrier to entry into these workouts, which means that almost everyone, irrespective of age or ability, can start to walk frequently as a form of exercise.
Walking has clear benefits in terms of keeping our bodies functioning as we get older, increasing cardiovascular health, assisting us lose fat mass and maintain muscle mass, and assisting to maintain bone density. These advantages are true for people of all ages. It seems that the more active which you are as a young adult may affect general health and bone and muscle physical function later on in your life.
In addition, walking outside is linked to mental health benefits, especially if you’re able to walk in parks or green spaces. Such “green exercise” may improve mental health and well-being, reduce symptoms of depression as well as lower blood pressure to a greater degree as opposed to similar urban exercise.
Walking Workouts When Your Job Involves Sitting?
Sometimes, it’s much simpler to talk the talk as opposed to walking the walk, particularly if you have a job which keeps you sedentary for most of the day. By taking time to understand your day-to-day routine, it’s very possible to find pockets of time for cardio fitness in the form of walking. With your doctor’s direction, try out these health tips:
- Go for an early-morning walk with your dog. Or, if you don’t by now have a pet, think about getting one — caring for an animal can assist with reducing your heart disease risk.
- When you’re going to work or the shop, park your car far from the entrance so that you are able to fit more steps into your day.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift.
- Wear a pedometer in order to keep track of your physical activity. Set attainable goals to stay motivated.
- Set a timer in order to make sure that you up and move around the office at least once an hour.
- Employ co-workers for a daily lunchtime workout outside, weather permitting.
Are Walking Workouts Enough?
However, while walking is good for you, it’s not a magical cure for everything. In order to gain even further benefits, consider adding in both higher intensity exercises as well as strengthening exercises.
This should include vigorous, challenging, quick movements which get your heart beating faster as well as making you out of breath. Examples are running or cycling up hills, sports games or – alternatively – walking up stairs. Once again, intensity is at play here. So, although walking is great for cardiovascular fitness, running is much better, even if you still only make use of similar amounts of calories on a short run as opposed to a longer walk.
The greater the intensity is, the better for your health. Muscle strengthening exercises, for example weightlifting, are also great for building muscle mass as well as strength at all ages. These will assist maintain muscle mass and function with older age and are linked with reduced incidence of chronic diseases. Importantly, muscle mass losses and function start in your 30s-40s. So, exercising while you’re younger isn’t just good for you now, but could help your health and function decades later.
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